Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website, 27 November 2015
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has today announced that significant new findings have been unearthed during an archaeological dig, led by Staffordshire University’s Centre of Archaeology, at its ambitious New Place project. New Place was Shakespeare’s family home at the height of his career for almost two decades. The dig has enhanced and extended knowledge and understanding about what for too long has felt like a missing-piece in Shakespeare’s story. The latest discoveries include the site of Shakespeare’s ‘kitchen’ including the great dramatist’s ‘oven’ and ‘fridge’.
In addition to identifying Shakespeare’s ‘kitchen’, the dig has also helped establish the size of New Place. This has enabled the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to commission new evidence-based drawings of New Place, which depict an accurate version of how the house would have looked during Shakespeare’s ownership.
Shakespeare’s New Place was the largest single residence in the borough of Stratford-upon-Avon, and was purchased for the considerable sum of £120 in 1597 (a Stratford school teacher at this time would have earned about £20 per annum). It had an impressive frontage, a Great Chamber and Gallery, over 20 rooms and 10 fireplaces.