Archaeological Dig Unearths New Parts of Shakespeare's Home

News   Archaeological Dig Unearths New Parts of Shakespeare's Home
 
Archaeologists who have been digging up William Shakespeare's home in Stratford-upon-Avon, which he purchased in 1597, have unearthed the playwright's kitchen, including an oven, a cold storage pit and possibly a brew house, according to BBC News.

More than 20 rooms and 10 fireplaces comprised New Place, for which Shakespeare paid £120.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) has commissioned new drawings of the home, which will be open to the public in summer 2016 as part of the celebrations marking 400 years since Shakespeare's death.

Dr. Paul Edmondson, SBT’s head of research, said in a statement, "Finding Shakespeare's 'kitchen' proved to be a vital piece of evidence in our understanding of New Place. Once we had uncovered the family's oven we were able to understand how the rest of the house fitted around it. The discovery of the cooking areas, brew house, pantry and cold storage pit, combined with the scale of the house, all point to New Place as a working home as well as a house of high social status. A much richer picture of Shakespeare has emerged through the course of our excavations. At New Place we can catch glimpses of Shakespeare the playwright and country-town gentleman. His main task was to write and a house as impressive as New Place would have played an important part in the rhythm of his working life."

Julie Crawshaw, project manager of Shakespeare’s New Place, added, "We have unearthed some significant archaeology which is all part of the story of New Place and its history. This will be shared in our exciting re-telling of New Place, where visitors will be able to discover Shakespeare on the very ground where his family home stood, imagined through specially commissioned, extraordinary art works, creative landscaping, and newly curated exhibitions, all shedding new light on the story of Shakespeare in Stratford. Meticulous work however, is not fast work, and we have had to reconfigure our original plans to accommodate the rich findings in previously unexplored ground. This has resulted in an unavoidable delay in starting groundworks, which will have a knock-on effect on our original schedule, particularly as we will now be building through the winter weather. It is thanks to the passion and skill of our team of designers, architects, engineers and conservation specialists that we are on track to open in summer 2016."

The archaeological dig, which was led by Staffordshire University's Centre of Archaeology, is part of the £5.25 million New Place project to "tell the story of Shakespeare’s family home and the real man behind the works – husband, father and son of Stratford," according to the BBC.

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