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Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Warwickshire

Anne Hathaway's Cottage is the childhood home of Shakespeare's wife. The house was extensively modernised by Anne's brother, and does not aim to represent the house Anne lived in. The property is perhaps more interesting in the way it illustrates the change from open halls to a more modern and isolated way of living in individual rooms. This change is exactly the one brought about by Anne's brother, who broke up the single space of the house by putting in floors, and adding an extension on the end nearest to you in this photo.

Shakespeare's time in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries was very communal. People lived close together. The Globe where some of Shakespeare's most famous plays first appeared, was on the day of a performance, a seething mass of jostling humanity. Today theatres are more likely to have an audience sitting quietly in the dark. Actors are often separated from their audience by a proscenium arch. No such barrier existed in Shakespeare's time. Asides spoken by actors to the audience were common, and audiences would be vocal in their support or displeasure of an actor's performance. The Globe Theatre was an open hall. Theatres then developed as houses did, with dividing walls.



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Address: Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Cottage Lane, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9HH

Directions: Anne Hathaway's Cottage is in Cottage Lane, Shottery. From the centre of Stratford follow Wood Street and Green Hill Street to Grove Road. Turn left into Grove Road, and walk to the roundabout. Turn right into Shottery Road,and continue on until you reach Cottage Lane. Click here for an interactive map centred on Anne Hathaway's Cottage.

Access: The cottage, and cafe, are not accessible to wheelchair users. There is a virtual tour in a room situated off the orchard, reached by a ramp. The gardens are accessible, and there are adapted toilet facilities.


telephone: 01789 204016

fax: 01789 262073


web site:



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