STRATFORD-ON-AVON. 35. Route. 259
numerous quaint half-timbered houses. It is a place of some
antiquity, and is mentioned in a Saxon charter of the 8th century.
Though not without importance as an agricultural centre, it owes
its prosperity chiefly to the memory of the great dramatist born here
in 1564, whose name and form have been imported, in one shape
or another, into the trade-mark of almost every saleable article in
the town. About 30,000 pilgrims (one-fourth Americans) annually
pay for admission to Shakespeare's House, while many thousands
of other visitors also flock to the town in summer.
^Shakespeare's House (PL C, 2), in which the poet was born
on April 23rd, 1564, is in Henley St.; it is now national property,
and is kept in scrupulously good order. It is shown daily (except
Sun.) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (adm. Gd.; museum Gd. extra; tickets at
the adjoining house). The house has undergone various vicissitudes
since Shakespeare's day, but the timber framework, the floors, most
of the internal walls, and the cellars remain substantially unaltered,
and the restoration in 1857 was directed towards a reproduction of
the building as it stood in 1564.
Interior. The small chamber facing the street, on the first floor,
has been consecrated by tradition as that in which the poet was born. The
walls of all the rooms were covered with the inscribed names of visit¬
ors; but these were concealed with whitewash for many years. The
signatures of Walter Scott and Thos. Carlyle (both scratched on the window),
Thackeray, Kean, and Browning are, however, still pointed out in the
birthroom. No new names are now allowed to be added. The back-room
on the upper floor contains the so-called 'Stratford Portrait' of Shake¬
speare, now declared by Mr. Sidney Lee to have been probably painted
from a bust in the 18th century. Below the Kitchen, on the groundfloor,
is a dark Cellar (not shown), one of the few rooms that has not been
changed since the poet's boyhood. — The rooms to the right on the
groundfloor are fitted up as a Shakespeare Museum, and contain a most
interesting collection of portraits, early editions, and other more or less
authentic relics of the great dramatist. The upper floor (originally in two
stories) is now the Library. — The Garden at the back of the house contains
a selection of the trees and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare's plays.
From Henley St. we may now pass through High Street (PL C, 3),
where, on the left, at the corner of Bridge St., is the Quiney House,
occupied for 36 years by the poet's daughter Judith (Mrs. Quiney).
Farther on, on the right, is a picturesque half-timbered house,
bearing the date 1596, once the home of the mother of John Harvard,
founder of the famous American university; and at the corner of
Ely St. is another old house (restored). Opposite, at the corner of
Chapel Street, is the Town Hall (PL C, 3), on which is a statue
of Shakespeare, presented by David Garrick; inside are portraits of
Shakespeare by Wilson and Garrick by Gainsborough (fee optional).
At the other end of Chapel St., also to the left, is New Place
(PL C, 3), the site of the house in which Shakespeare resided on
his return to Stratford, and where he died on April 23rd, 1616.
In the middle of last century, the house, said to have been built by
Sir Hugh Clopton about 1490, came into the possession of the Rev. Francis
Gastrell, who razed it to the ground in 1759, owing to a quarrel about the
rates, having already cut down the poet's mulberry-tree in 1756 to avoid