The house where Shakespeare lived in retirement and then died in Stratford-on-Avon, was bought by a retired clergyman in the nineteenth century. He got into an argument over taxes to be paid on the house, and when the council threatened to take him to court, he had the house demolished rather than be ordered to pay the taxes. When the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust took over the property in the twentieth century, together with Nash House next door, they created a lovely garden where Shakespeare’s house had once stood.
Recently archaeologists have been digging to try and find the foundations of Shakespeare’s house. The photo that I took from the window of our hotel room opposite, shows blue plastic sheeting covering where they had been digging. They unearthed Tudor bricks that must have belonged to the original house and they believed that these bricks had been part of a laundry room in the house.
The excavations did not show the position of the old house conclusively, but the indications were that there had been a gatehouse fronting the street, where the servants quarters would have been situated, then an inner courtyard with the grand house and the main living quarters behind it. It was also believed that there were extensive grounds behind the house where there would have been an orchard and a field where animals would have been kept.
In my photo you can see a mulberry tree which is thought to have been grown from a cutting taken from an older tree that would have been in Shakespeare’ garden.