NOV 00] SHAKESPEARE BIRTHPLACE TRUST NEWS
Real Mary Arden's House Discovered
have discovered that Mary Arden’s house was not the home of
Shakespeare’s mother, but that she grew up near the popular
farmhouse in Wilmcote near Stratford has been a magnet for
tourists for years, who believed they were visiting the home of
Mary Arden, Shakespeare’s mother.
building has been known as that since the 18th century, but
Warwickshire historian Nat Alcock has uncovered evidence that she
instead grew up on nearby Glebe Farm.
Arden’s house was bought for preservation by the Shakespeare
Birthplace Trust in the 1930s. Glebe Farm is also owned by the
trust, having been bought in the 1960s to save it from demolition.
Alcock looked at papers about Wilmcote kept in London and Lewes in
Sussex. Rent records from 1587 showed that the building now known
as Glebe Farm was once held by Agnes Arden, second wife of Robert
Arden, and Mary’s step-mother.
house previously thought to have been the Arden house was owned by
Adam Palmer, a close friend of the family.
Farm will now take on the Arden name, and the current Mary’s
Arden’s house will be renamed Palmer’s Farm.
revelation has cleared up an area of uncertainty surrounding the
bard's childhood, but has rendered numerous guidebooks and
Pringle, director of the trust, said:
think my excitement at having this proof of the exact location
of the Arden home will be shared by many people.
the past, as we have explained to visitors, the evidence that
clearly supports the identities of other Shakespeare-related
buildings in our care, notably Shakespeare’s birthplace and
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, has been lacking for Mary Arden’s
House, whose claims rested on tradition.
we can point with certainty to Glebe Farm as being the house
where Shakespeare’s mother grew up.
believe Dr Alcock’s discovery justifies the trust’s
commitment to research and to making people fully aware of the
evidence for our historic houses.
find also vindicates our commitment over a long period to
conservation work, since it was the trust in the 1960s which
rescued the house we now realise was the Arden home.”