Hall’s Croft is named after William Shakespeare’s son-in-law John Hall, famous both for his family connections and his work as a physician. Hall married Shakespeare’s eldest daughter Susanna, and they lived in the property until their move to New Place in 1616 upon Shakespeare’s death.
Prior to the Trust purchasing the property in 1949, the house was in private hands, and was the last property that the Trust acquired. It is a fine example of a Jacobean house, with the earliest part sof the building having been built in around 1613. The house has always been a curiosity in the town, is striking character and Tudor features drawing attention from passersby, and we have a number of artistic interpretations of the house over the years that are invaluable to understanding the evolution of the building.
Deeds and plans in our collection show how the property has been extended and changed as well as the restoration work conducted by the Trust before it could be safely opened to the public. Documents and images demonstrate its changing use and habitation, from family home to private school to its current incarnation. Today the house is presented as a luxurious Tudor home, showing examples from our material culture collection that reflect Susanna and John Hall's status and highlighting his role as a prominent physician.
Our collections hold a wealth of information about Stratford upon Avon’s wartime heritage including diaries, newspaper, scrapbooks and photographs. With help from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s special First World War funding stream, we are using our collections to commemorate and develop understanding of the role of Stratford-upon-Avon and its residents during the war.
This exhibition is in the dedicated exhibition space at Hall's Croft and uses this material to explore the effect that the First World War had on the town and its people.