THE SCHOOLROOM Shakespeare was educated in will open its doors to visitors in April.
Expert conservationists have been carrying out extensive restoration of the 15th century building, part of KES, in preparation for Stratford’s newest heritage visitor attraction – Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall.
Work on the roof was completed this week. The tiles all had to be taken off, before the roof was insulated and felted, and the tiles re-fitted, with hand-made Tudor style copies used to replaced damaged tiles.
Only English oak is being used during the restoration, and reproduction school benches have been made from an oak tree from farmland originally owned by Shakespeare’s granddaughter.
The rotten floor of the Muniments Chamber has been replaced with floorboards salvaged from Hampton Court after a fire.
And wherever possible local craftsmen have been commissioned to carry out the restoration and conservation work.
KES trusteee spokesman Tony Bird said: “This is a very symbolic moment for the project, one we are delighted to be celebrating because it takes us a significant step closer to achieving the vision we have for Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall.
“For the first time in its 500 year history people will be able to explore the very place that Shakespeare was educated and first experienced theatre, stepping into his shoes as students of King Edward VI School have been doing for centuries.
“The topping out ceremony gives us the chance to reflect on what has already been accomplished not only for the building, but a most important piece of the nation’s heritage.”
The £1.4 million restoration has been made possible thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
When it opens to the public, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall will also continue to be used each morning by KES pupils to maintain its legacy as a place of learning.
Visit www.shakespearesschoolroom.org for further details.