Click here to learn about objects in the Tudor Courtship exhibition.
At the age of 18, William Shakespeare married a woman called Anne Hathaway. Anne and her family were the tenants of a one-storey farmhouse on a 90-acre farm. The house is less than one and a half miles away from the home in which Shakespeare was born and grew up.
Anne’s father was a yeoman farmer and, consequently, a well-respected member of the Shottery community. Upon his death he left Anne, who was also known as Agnes, a small sum of money with which she could marry. The house was then purchased by Anne’s brother, Bartholomew, who also acquired the freehold on the farm.
Bartholomew added a second floor to the farmhouse and made many extensions to the property. The Hathaway descendants kept the ever-expanding cottage in the family for 13 generations until it was purchased by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1892, when it was turned into a museum.
You can see one of our house guides talking about one of the inhabitants of the house in this video.