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Archive for the tag “Stratford-upon-Avon”

A little privileged…

So, I had the strangest experience yesterday. I was invited to a meeting at Coughton Court. I’m very fortunate in the fact that I live very close to this amazing property. The great thing about living in Warwickshire is the variety of different National Trust properties that I can visit. I have had my eye on working at Coughton Court for about a year though. I was quite determined to become involved as I’ve mentioned in previous posts.

Discover a house full of intrigue and secrets © Andreas von Einsiedel

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A World Elsewhere: photo reportage from around the world

Since living in Stratford, I have slowly come to realise that there are lots of hidden gems in town. For example, the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre is not just a theatre! There are little galleries inside hosting exhibitions. I was lucky enough to view one of the exhibitions entitled ‘A World Elsewhere’ which is running till the 3rd of March.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

The theatre in Stratford.

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I’ve arrived!

Where to begin with all my news…Well, I’ve moved house, I suppose that is a good start! I am now a lot closer to my main place of work in the Stratford archives and I absolutely love the people I live with. The house is amazing, so beautiful and welcoming. They are mad about the Arts too, which means lots of singing and acting! I feel incredibly happy and everything is moving forward.

My new home town!

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Into the archives…

On Friday the 12th of October I finally got round to visiting the Shakespeare Museum, Library and Archive Collections who had kindly provided me with lots of information on Anglo-Saxon archaeology digs across Warwickshire, specifically the ones at Bidford and Alveston. I also had a read of the Wasperton dig too as there was an amazing book in the reading room about it.

Here is a map to show the distribution of pagan Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in the Avon valley where the archaeology digs took place. By contrast with the sparse, peripheral Anglo-Saxon archaeology of Staffordshire, that of Warwickshire shows the valley of the Avon in the southern half of the county, to have been an important focus of pagan burial practices. Map from ‘The West Midlands in the Early Middle Ages’ by Gelling, M. (1992):

The collection is situated right by where I work, at the Shakespeare Centre itself, and looks after the largest collection of Shakespeare related materials in the UK. Their collection includes rare manuscripts, books, photographs, artefacts and works of art. One of their great treasures is the First Folio which is believed to have belonged to Shakespeare. Obviously the collection isn’t all about Shakespeare though- it is a local history archive too with records dating back to the 12th C- hence why they have archaeology records and artefacts…with items like this beauty…

Anglo-Saxon Large Square-Headed Bronze Brooch

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Where have I been?

So, as you might have realised, I’ve been away from blogging for a while. I’ve got a very good reason for this, I promise! This week I started working at another place (yes, as you have probably guessed by now, I work at numerous places and for numerous people) which I have devoted myself to for the past few days. And here is where it is…

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Tour of the archaeology site

This evening I was invited to a tour of the archaeology site I have been working at, led by one of the lead archaeologists. Even though I work there, it was good to get a review of everything that has been discovered in the previous years that I haven’t been there. It also gave me a chance to hear about new developments, including the opening of a new trench on site, which I will hopefully be involved with this weekend!

As well as reviewing all the trenches I listened to the history of the site, which will be presented in a written report and available to read soon. What I didn’t realise till visiting tonight, was just how big Shakespeare’s final house was. Because of what has been discovered through uncovering foundations, New Place was connected to Nash House during the 1530s. In the courtyard they have found evidence of a water source which may well have been shared between the two buildings.

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A bit of progress

Today (after the torrential rain of Saturday) I went to the archaeology site in Stratford to help out as usual. I thought most of the site would be waterlogged, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to swim to excavate! I have taken some photographs to document a bit of the progress that has been made!

The medieval corridor!

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Dig!

So, as promised, here are the pictures of the dig site at Stratford…my previous post showed a photograph of the front of Nash House before the digging…

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Quirky Art

I love discovering new art, especially the quirky kind. After taking a stroll around Stratford market the other day, pulled along by the crowds, I came across many stalls selling art prints. One contained prints by the artist Mark Kaiser.

Mark Kaiser was born in 1971 in Worcestershire to Polish parents and has been painting and drawing since the age of three. He studied Design and Illustration at Suffolk University and after his graduation he was contacted by EMI Records who were particularly interested in an illustration he’d created out of burnt Chinese newspapers and this was subsequently seen by the then up-and-coming band Radiohead who wanted to entitle their EP ‘Chinese Burn’. The band loved it and exhibited the finished illustration in their house.

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Digging

Phew what a day! Today I spent my time at Stratford at Nash House, doing a lot of digging. To explain a bit, there is an archaeological dig happening at the New Place site at Nash House. Nash House was named after Thomas Nash, first husband of Shakespeare’s granddaughter, and a wealthy local property owner.Today, it is a well preserved Tudor building and the ground floor is furnished as it would have been in Nash’s day. It is a pretty amazing place to look around.

Next door to Nash’s House are the foundations of New Place. This was the house bought by William Shakespeare in 1597. By the late 1590s, Shakespeare was an established playwright and had amassed enough wealth to afford a new family home. New Place was the second biggest house in Stratford at the time and it was where Shakespeare lived when he was not in London. He died there in 1616.

Image

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