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**Harvard House - Shakespeare Birthplace Trust** O
Harvard House is one of Stratford-upon-Avon's most striking Elizabethan town houses, at what is now 26 High Street, Stratford-upon-Avon. The house is open to visitors while New Place and Nash’s House are closed for conservation.
Explore this unique three-storey town house, learn about its fascinating story and admire the fine exterior oak carvings, 16th Century stained glass and painted panels within.
Visitors to this beautifully preserved timber property will also be able to see the exciting plans for a proposed major redevelopment of New Place, the final home of Shakespeare. Read more about our plans for New Place.
Wealthy merchant Thomas Rogers spared no expense building this striking Elizabethan town house, just up the road from Shakespeare’s New Place. His grandson, John Harvard, was a founding benefactor of Harvard University.
Architecture and design
The elaborately carved oak exterior is a sign of Rogers’ wealth and status. Look out for 14th-century stained glass and hand-painted panels.
Extended Summer Season 4 July– 28 August - Monday to Sunday - Open 10:00 Last Entry 17:00
Summer Season 19 March – 3 July & 29 August – 30 October - Monday to Sunday - Open 09:00 Last Entry 17:00
Winter Season 31 October – March 2017 - Monday to Sunday Open 11:00 Last Entry 16:00
The History of Harvard House
Once known as the Ancient House, the property was built by local businessman Thomas Rogers in 1596; the year before William Shakespeare bought New Place, just a few hundred yards along the street.
Rogers was a successful butcher as well as a corn and cattle merchant. He served as Alderman for the Stratford Corporation alongside John Shakespeare, William’s father. The elaborately carved front of the building is a clear statement of his wealth and social-standing.
In 1605, Thomas Rogers’ daughter Katherine married Robert Harvard of Southwark. Their son, John, was born two years later and would go on to marry Ann Sadler before the couple immigrated to Massachusetts, America.
John Harvard worked as a preacher and teaching elder in Newtowne, where the Massachusetts Bay Colony had set up a fund for the founding of a new college. John died of tuberculosis in 1638, bequeathing £750 to the fund – in excess of £3 million today – along with his library of 230 books.
It was agreed that Newtowne should be renamed Cambridge, after the university John attended in England, and that the new college would bear his name. Harvard College remains one of the two schools within Harvard University and is the oldest institution of higher education in America.
In 1909, the Ancient House in Stratford-upon-Avon was purchased by the American millionaire, Edward Morris of Chicago. After extensive restoration, it was given to Harvard University and became known as Harvard House.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has been caring for Harvard House on behalf of Harvard University since 1990.
You can travel from London to Stratford-upon-Avon in under 2 hours by car. Since we are close to the M40, M42 and M6 motorway networks we are also easily reached from the Midlands and the North. The town centre is a short drive from Junction 15 of the M40 and is well sign posted on all major routes.
There are a number of pay and display car parks within the town centre, or you may wish to try the Park & Ride which is signposted from the A46.
By Public Transport
Coaches bringing visitors to The Shakespeare Birthplace are permitted to drop off and pick up their groups directly from the Windsor Street coach park, just one minute's walk from the front door of the Birthplace Visitor's Centre. The coach will then need to wait for the group at the Stratford Leisure Centre coach park until the Group finishes its visit.
There is free coach parking located at Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Mary Arden's Farm just next to the properties. Coaches are permitted to wait there free of charge until the group has completed their visit to the Cottage or Farm.
For Harvard House and Hall's Croft coaches are permitted to drop off groups in front of the property but must then wait for the group at the Leisure Centre car park as neither property has parking facilities.
There are regular, direct rail services from London to Stratford-upon-Avon starting out from London Marylebone station. Stratford is also only a short journey from Birmingham Snow Hill and Moor Street and Solihull stations.
Stratford-upon-Avon train station is a comfortable ten minute walk from the town centre. Click here to download a copy of National Rail onward journey information to help you find your way into town.
**Harvard House - Shakespeare Birthplace Trust** O facilities include:
- Guided tours available for groups
- Suitable for families
**Harvard House - Shakespeare Birthplace Trust** O accessibility includes:
Contact - **Harvard House - Shakespeare Birthplace Trust** O
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This is where the Shakespeare story began. As the house where William Shakespeare was born and grew up, Shakespeare's Birthplace has been welcoming visitors for over 250 years. Shakespeare also spent the first five years of married life in this house with his new wife, Anne Hathaway. Be inspired by theatrical performances, take part in family activities, events and festivals and step back in time with our resident Tudors. Explore, enjoy and be surprised by Shakespeare and his fascinating life story, whatever your age.
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