EDUCATION minister Nadhim Zahawi returned to the classroom Shakespeare-style.
The Stratford MP dropped in at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall in the town centre ahead of its reopening today (Friday).
The 16th century Church Street building, where the Bard spent his schooldays, marked its 600th birthday last year but all celebrations were shelved due to the pandemic.
But finally, the venue will again be inviting visitors to experience Tudor school life, view the medieval murals, learn to write with a quill, and dress up in the clothes of the day.
Mr Zahawi was joined on his visit by chairman of the VisitEngland Advisory Board Nick de Bois as part of English Tourism Week – a VisitEngland led initiative to celebrate the tourism industry.
Mr Zahawi said: “While Stratford-upon-Avon has so much to offer, Shakespeare stands out as a huge international driver of tourism to the town and the region. It’s wonderful to see the Schoolroom & Guildhall is fully operational once again so that future generations may learn about our rich history.”
The MP also visited Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, where Shakespeare courted his bride-to-be. Together with Shakespeare’s New Place – the site of the playwright’s former home – the historic thatched cottage, orchard and sculpture garden has also re-opened.
Schoolroom manager Lindsey Armstrong said: “Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall is a national treasure that we want to see enjoyed and explored by visitors so that they can discover its unique stories and how they connect to the world today.
“However, the impact of Covid-19 in 2020 created unprecedented challenges for a small heritage organisation like ours – in the year that we should have been celebrating our 600th anniversary.
“Thankfully, the support that we have had from the Heritage Lottery Emergency Fund, the Warwickshire County Council Adapt & Diversify Fund and the government’s Culture Recovery Fund gave us the lifeline that we so needed.”