Launch of Stratford treasure hunt

Shakespeare's birthplace - Stratford treasure hunt Shakespeare's birthplace - Stratford treasure hunt

We at Treasuredays are delighted to announce the launch of our new treasure hunt in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire.

Stratford is, of course, where William Shakespeare was born in 1566, and the town is very much focused on him.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace: Stratford treasure hunt

The first half of the treasure hunt centres on Henley Street, which runs diagonally through the middle of the town.  This is where you can find the restored Tudor house where William Shakespeare was born.  Shakespeare bequeathed the house to his daughter Susanna, and it later passed to descendants of his sister who owned it until 1806.  When the property was put up for sale in 1846, the showman P. T. Barnum proposed to buy it and transport it brick-by-brick to America. Charles Dickens and others formed a committee to raise money to purchase the property for the nation.  The resulting Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was incorporated by Act of Parliament.  

Next to Shakespeare’s Birthplace is the modern Shakespeare Centre, built in 1964 to accommodate the Trust’s library and collection of Shakespeare documents.  The Trust also manages several other properties in and around Stratford with connections to the bard.  These include the childhood homes of Shakespeare’s mother and wife, Mary Arden’s and Anne Hathaway.  

Another attraction in Henley Street is the Magic Alley magic shop, with its Creaky Cauldron haunted museum.  It is themed around the Chronicles of Wizard’s Thatch books by Dave Matthews, boasting that the first was published seven years before Harry Potter.  The Chronicles explore Shakespeare’s ‘lost years’ as a time-travelling wizard?

Bancroft Gardens: Stratford treasure hunt

The second half of the hunt explores Bancroft Gardens, a popular meeting and picnic place on the bank of the River Avon.  The Gardens also include the basin of the Stratford-Upon-Avon Canal, which was restored and re-opened to navigation in the 1960s.  

The site was formerly common land used for pasture and known as Bank Croft.  It was here in 1769 that David Garrick, the most famous actor of the day, funded and organised a 3-day Jubilee Festival to celebrate William Shakespeare.  Although the latter two days were completely rained off, this event is considered the beginning of international ‘bardolatry’ and of Stratford’s tourist industry.

The hunt ends on the plaza beside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at the far side of the Gardens.  The current building was opened in 1932, after the original Victorian Shakespeare Memorial Theatre burned down.  In 2011, the theatre was re-opened by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh following major renovations: they were treated to a performance of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.

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