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Sharing Shakespeare's Story

Wall hangings

There are brightly coloured painted cloths on the walls of the Birthplace; we know that William’s mother, Mary, inherited eleven such cloths from her father, Robert Arden. She would have brought these to the house when she married John Shakespeare in 1557. The cloths you see today are based on original designs from the 1500s.

The cloth pictured here is later, it dates from the 17th or 18th centuries. It depicts a biblical scene showing a potentate in a horse-drawn chariot.

2 responses
Response by


Shakespeare's family would not have been able to afford tapestries, so these brightly painted cloths were the next best thing for decoration and insulation

Response by


On the walls there were lovely cloths to decorate the room and keep it warm.

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