- Where: Wilmcote, 3 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon town center
- June-August, Daily, from 9:30 a.m. Last entry 5 p.m.
- April-May and September-October, from 10 a.m. daily. Last entry 5 p.m.
- November-March, from 10 a.m. Last entry 4 p.m.
- Admission: Adult - £6.00, Child - £2.50, Seniors £5, Family ticket £15.00.
- Telephone:+44 (0)1789 293 455
- Visit the website
To save, buy a multiple ticket for all 5 Shakespeare houses. It's valid indefinitely. Visit one house this year, return next year to see another!
Shakespeare's mother was the farmer's daughter:
The Mary Arden House and Shakespeare Countryside Museum illustrates English rural life from the early Tudor period - when it was Shakespeare's mother's childhood home - right up to the 1960s, when the building known as The Glebe, was still a working farm. Many of the farm tools and implements on display changed very little over that period.
The site consists of two dwellings and an assortment of barns and outbuildings. One of the two houses, the Adam Palmer house, belonged to a wealthy Tudor farmer and includes a dairy and a dovecote. The Palmer house illustrates Tudor farm life while the Glebe is more modern.
The museum is operated as a working farm. The animals kept include rare heritage breeds that might have been on the farm when Shakespeare's mother was a girl. Visitors who walk through the orchard and wildflower meadow may see old English longhorn cattle, Cotswold sheep and Gloucester Old Spot pigs. There are red-haired Tamworth pigs in the farmyard and falcons, kept for falconry exhibitions, in their own huts.
For many years the half-timbered house on the site was mistakenly identified as Mary Arden's childhood home. But more recent research identified the smaller and less chocolate-box pretty house, called The Glebe, next door as the actual Arden home. The Museum site incorporates both and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in English country life from Shakespeare's mother's day to the mid 20th century.