In the last year the story of John Shakespeare, father to William Shakespeare, has taken on a new twist following the discovery of a series of manuscripts in the National Archive by Professor Glyn Parry. These 16th century documents add even greater significance to the role Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall played in the lives of both, all of which Dads and Grandads can discover for themselves with special free entry this Father’s Day (16 June 2019).
Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall is the building in which the lives of John and William intertwined; in his colourful life John appeared as plaintiff, defendant and, when bailiff (mayor) of Stratford-upon-Avon, as judge in the Guildhall’s Court of Record, and William was not only educated in the upstairs Schoolroom, but this is where he also saw professional theatre for the first time.
The discovery of the documents tells of John Shakespeare’s illegal money lending and wool dealing and how the cases brought by informers eventually resulted in him owing large fines to the Queen, which damaged his business career and forced his retirement from Stratford town council. These affairs would have played out in the Guildhall court whilst William himself was attending lessons on the first floor Schoolroom; both of which are now collectively known as Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall. The influence of the period, John Shakespeare’s connections to the building and the schooling that William experienced, are all part of the stories brought to life for visitors to the award-winning attraction today.
Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall also has lots of fun activities taking place across the weekend for all the family to get involved in. A family quiz involves lots of clue solving and a trail around the building. The excitement awaits of a Tudor lesson and the opportunity to sit in the very Schoolroom William Shakespeare was taught his lessons. In the Georgian Schoolroom there are lots of activities to explore from quill writing and dressing up, to a range of Tudor games to get hands on with.
Combining history, atmosphere, drama and more, there couldn’t be a better Father’s Day outing than a trip to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall.
Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall is open daily from 11am to 5pm, with last admissions at 4:30pm. Quote ‘Dads Go Free’ at the reception desk on Father’s Day and both Dads and Grandads will enjoy free entry (when accompanied by paying children and or grandchildren).
Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon is about to light up the dark evenings with the lantern of Jeremiah Pinchbeck, a character from the 18th century with a tale or two to tell. Once the caretaker of this magnificent building, Jeremiah will guide visitors down the ancient halls rekindling stories from the past, some of which may set your spine tingling.
Santa will be making his way down the chimney at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon once again to greet families for a special Christmas experience on dates throughout December.