The journey of a tree from Box Hill to Stratford-upon-Avon
Find out why you'll see a tree from Box Hill at Shakespeare's New Place...
In August 2016 a splendid new oak and bronze gateway opened on the original threshold of Shakespeare’s New Place, inviting visitors to walk in the playwright’s footsteps, explore a dramatic new landscape and exhibition, and meet the man behind the famous works. This is the place where Shakespeare had his family home for 19 years, and where he died four hundred years ago.
Shakespeare was 32 when he bought New Place in 1597, and it remained his family home until his death there in 1616. It was the largest house in the borough, a prestigious residence with 10 fireplaces, up to 20 rooms, and extensive gardens. Sadly, the last house to occupy the plot was demolished by the infamous Reverend Francis Gastrell in 1759, and the largest surviving part of Shakespeare’s estate has been preserved as a garden ever since.
Around the new garden, specially commissioned sculptures conjure up the world that influenced Shakespeare with a magnificent bronze tree, based on a Hawthorn from Box Hill, Surrey taking centre stage in the Heart of the Home, its branches swept over a massive sphere which is burnished bright on one side, and in deepest shadow beyond. His Mind’s Eye is the work of renowned sculptor Jill Berelowitz, a powerful metaphor for the irresistible force of Shakespeare’s imagination. Surrounded by a circle of pleached hornbeams and a 30m curved oak bench, with Shakespeare’s desk and chair at stage right, this is the perfect spot to contemplate Shakespeare’s works – and take a picture.
Shakespeare’s New Place is open from 9am – 5.30pm (10am – 4pm in Winter) everyday, except Christmas Day. For more information and to plan your visit, see www.shakespeare.org.uk.