A Shakespeare Connected exhibition in collaboration with Will Mitchell, Archaeologist at Staffordshire University.

This exhibition highlights the contribution artefacts have made to the story of New Place, the William Shakespeare’s family home from 1597.

New Place originated as a late-medieval open-hall house, constructed around a courtyard which was designed and built by the local influential merchant (and former Lord Mayor of London) Hugh Clopton over a hundred years prior to William Shakespeare’s purchase. These artefacts however, also show us that the ground upon which New Place was constructed, had previously seen much building and occupation, dating back several thousand years to the prehistoric period.

The archaeologists found it was not possible to attribute all of the artefacts to a definitive period, as they were recovered from the mixed layers of backfilled deposits, which had accumulated because of 19th-century excavations. These artefacts were given a likely date range based upon similar examples found elsewhere.

Sometimes, a single unique artefact can provide a detailed insight into the people who owned, made or used it. The artefacts in this exhibition are just a small selection of the numerous artefacts recovered in the course of the excavations. They have been carefully chosen to display the periods represented on site, the lives of the individuals, and the activities undertaken by them.


With thanks to the Museums and Universities Partnership Initiative (an Arts Council funded project).