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Friday, September 10, 2010

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a major tourist attraction in the English Midlands.

The family home of Anne Hathaway's father, Richard, the large farmhouse and gardens are located in the village of Shottery about a mile from the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. The house remained within the Hathaway family and its descendants until 1892 when it was purchased by The Shakspeare Birthplace Trust.

The house today contains many household items and furnishings from Anne's day. The extensive gardens include a sculpture trail and tree garden, with sculptures inspired by Shakespeare's plays and trees mentioned in his work, a traditional orchard, a cottage garden and a peaceful woodland walk. In a specially-made willow cabin visitors can listen to selected sonnets by the great poet.

The gift shop is popular with souvenir-hunting foreign tourists and includes books, tea, ceramics and Shakespeare-themed goods.

Little is known about Anne Hathaway herself. She married William Shakespeare in 1582, when she was 26 and William 18 and while she was pregnant with their first child. The couple had three children in all during their marriage. Shakespeare spent much of his adult life away from Anne in London, but returned to Stratford in later life to live with his wife again, leaving her his "second best bed" in his will - a detail much debated by scholars and other writers searching for clues into their relationship.

Tel: 01789 204016

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