Following a £1.8 million restoration, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon opened its doors to the public for the first time on 23rd April 2016, the 400th anniversary of the death of the Schoolroom’s most famous former pupil. As the place where William Shakespeare spent his school years and first experienced theatre, the Guildhall and Schoolroom has been described as “one of the most atmospheric, magical and important buildings in the whole of Britain” by historian and broadcaster, Michael Wood. Located in the heart of the town and a five minute walk from Shakespeare’s place of birth, Stratford’s Guildhall was completed in 1420 with the school moving into the upper floor of the building in the mid-1560s.
Open daily, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall attracts both national and international visitors who are able to explore Shakespeare’s childhood and youth in the building that tells the hither to missing chapter in the story of his time in Stratford – his education and the inspiration that led him to become the world’s greatest playwright.
Visitors are invited to step into Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall and immerse themselves in fifteenth and sixteenth century Stratford, sit in the very room that William Shakespeare sat as a pupil in the 1570s, visit the Council Chamber where his father served as Bailiff (Mayor) and experience the space where he first witnessed performances by the country’s greatest actors of the day. Brush up on your Latin with our Tudor Schoolmaster! Visitors can also explore the building’s role as a medieval provincial Guildhall that sat at the heart of Stratford’s civic governance and learn about its almost 600 years of educational and commercial life. Standing where Shakespeare’s father served his year as Bailiff (Mayor), visitors will hear the sounds of the Court of Record, over which John Shakespeare presided when Bailiff.
This interactive and engaging visitor experience including soundscapes, projections, films, interpretive panels and knowledgeable guides on hand with many anecdotes to tell will bring to life the many stories the magical Guildhall has to tell.