The Trust said that torrential rainfall in recent weeks has made it impossible for groundwork to be completed as planned, and this has in turn delayed installation of the new garden on the footprint of Shakespeare’s family home and also the extension to the exhibition centre.
Shakespeare’s New Place was due to open on July 1 and a new opening date will be announced soon.
“We had an ambitious timescale for this ground-breaking project to re-imagine Shakespeare’s New Place for the 21st century,” said Dr Diana Owen, CEO of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. “We have met many unexpected challenges along the way, but the record rainfall has slowed things down in the final phase.”
New Place, the house where Shakespeare lived for 19 years, is being transformed into a major new heritage landmark with a dedicated entrance from Chapel Street. The importance of New Place has been hidden since its demolition in the 18th century where an empty grassed-over site has filled its space since then. Shakespeare bought what was then the largest house in Stratford in 1597 and invested a lot of money in the house and in businesses around the town.
“We are naturally very disappointed that we are not able to re-open as scheduled,” said Owen. “Everybody working on this extraordinary project is pulling out all the stops, to ensure that visitors will be able to experience this inspirational and enduring testament to Shakespeare’s legacy as soon as possible.”
A four-year archaeological dig has realised the scale of the site and the findings have transformed how much we know and understand about Shakespeare and the place where he lived.
On display at a new exhibition will be clothes, food and games played that will help visitors envisage daily life in the house. And from Shakespeare’s last will and testimony it has been revealed that he left a number of possessions to people in the town and artist friends in