September 28th, 2016

Stratford buildings and monuments relisted to commemorate 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death

Stratford buildings and monuments relisted to commemorate 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death Stratford buildings and monuments relisted to commemorate 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death
Updated: 11:49 am, Sep 26, 2016

TWO buildings and three monuments in Stratford have been re-listed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Holy Trinity Church, The Shakespeare Monument in New Place, The Shakespeare Memorial Fountain in Rother Street and The Gower Monument in Bancroft Gardens have all had their entries on the National Heritage List for England revised or updated to celebrate their important connection with Stratford’s most famous son.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre has been Grade II* listed since 1971.

When large-scale rethinking was proposed to the building, Historic England had detailed discussions with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The parts of the building identified as the most significant historically and architecturally were the foyer, the fountain court and the facades facing Bancroft and the River Avon.

Radical reworking of the listed building retained these parts and allowed for the construction of a new 1,000 seat theatre within the existing building.

Historic England has now determined it should remain listed at Grade II to reflect the building as it stands with its redevelopment.

The Grade I listed 13th century Holy Trinity Church is where Shakespeare was baptised and buried and his association with the building can be seen by the inscribed ledger stone and monument to him on the chancel wall.

The Shakespeare Monument was originally created for the façade of the Shakespeare Gallery on Pall Mall in London, but when the building was demolished in 1868, it was moved to its present site in the Great Gardens of New Place.

It is listed at Grade II as an early and important example of a monument to Shakespeare.

The Shakespeare Memorial Fountain was gifted to the town by the American publisher George William Childs in dedication to Shakespeare.

Listed at Grade II, Historic England say it is an important example of a Victorian Public monument in a Gothic style with high-quality stone carvings.

The Grade II listed Gower Monument stands in Bancroft Gardens – having been moved from its original location next to the theatre.

The bronze and stone sculptural monument of Shakespeare was created and donated to the town as a tribute to Shakespeare by Lord Gower and took 12 years to complete.

Tracey Crouch, heritage minister, said: “As we celebrate Shakespeare’s great works and global influence on the 400th anniversary of his death, it’s important that we also protect and recognise the remains of the playhouses where his works first came to life on stage.”

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, added: “It’s fitting we have commemorated the life of Shakespeare by relisting buildings and monuments associated with him in Stratford in the 400th year since his death.

“These are key places in the life and legacy of the world’s greatest playwright which deserve to be celebrated in this way. Their cultural importance mean they deserve protection as part of England’s precious historic fabric.”