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Sensational spring ahead for Shakespeare lovers in Stratford-upon-Avon
7:34pm Tuesday 12th March 2013 in Travel
SHAKESPEARE fans are being offered a rare treat with a fascinating new exhibition opening in Stratford-upon-Avon showcasing a string of priceless artifacts associated with the bard.
On Monday the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will open Shakespeare’s Treasures which will include a copy of the only portrait which the great man sat for and the only surviving letter to him.
Holinshed’s Chronicles published in 1577, one of the books from which Shakespeare drew inspiration form will also be on display as well as the Ashburnham copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s collected plays, published in 1623.
The exhibition also explores Shakespeare’s global legacy through objects such as an 18th century fan with a French translation of the Seven Ages of Man (As You Like It), 19th century German translations of Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice and As You Like It by von Schlegal and Tieck and even a 20th century Klingon translation of Hamlet for the Star Trek generation.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust holds one of the most significant Shakespeare collections in the world which includes over a million documents and more than fifty thousand books, as well as fine works of art, historic objects and photographs.
Delia Garratt, head of collections and interpretation at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “Until now, we simply haven’t had suitable space to display some of the most important items in our collection, and many of the items on show have rarely, if ever, left our vaults except on special request.”
Stratford-upon-Avon offers countless different Shakespeare experiences from seeing his work being performed at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to wandering down the streets he turned into one of world’s best known tourist destinations.
Mary Arden’s Farm, once the childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother and still a working Tudor farm, re-opens on Monday. Visitors can discover the daily routine of 16th century rural folk as costumed residents bring the farm to life plus try traditional crafts as well as see an ever growing number of animals including Longhorn calves and a Gloucester cow.
A tree-huggers paradise has been created at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage with the new singing tree and music trail which opens on March 23.
Visitors will hug the singing tree to make it sing and take an enchanting musical tour through the woodland walk, listening to a soundtrack specially composed by folk legend Peter Knight of Steeleye Span.
Both of these musical installations have been made possible thanks to funding from the Happy Museum Project. Two new giant willow installations have been added to the whimsical sculpture trail through the romantic gardens. But if the children are in tow then a visit to Nash’s House is a must with countless games and adventures available.
For fans of herbs and holistic remedies Hall’s Croft is holding a herb festival and hear talks on the medicinal use of herbs plus discover some of the herbs and flowers used for medicine in the 17th century.
Tickets to all five Shakespeare Houses and Gardens are valid for a full year - with unlimited entry.
For the price of one ticket, you can enjoy days out at the Shakespeare Houses and Gardens all year round, for free.
Tickets costs £21.50 for adults, £13.50 for children, £19.50 for concessions and £56 for a family (includes up to 4 children).
A ticket also now includes a visit to Shakespeare's grave at Holy Trinity Church. For more information visit www.shakespeare.org.uk.