This is the most charming of all the Birthplace Trust's properties, not only is it tinged with romance as the place where William Shakespeare courted the young girl who was to become his wife, but it nestles in the most idyllic of English surroundings.
The cottage is located in the village of Shottery, and although referred to as a cottage in reality it is a substantial house. The fact that the Hathaway's were a prosperous family is reflected by the size and style of the house.
When the trust purchased the property in 1892, it had many trappings from the Victorian era. These were removed and the house underwent renovation and restoration to bring it back to its former glory. Therefore, despite being carved up, there are still many 16th century features to be seen, included in these are 16th century fireplaces and the remains of what in Anne's day, would have been the great hall. Upstairs visitors can see the Elizabethan bed that Anne Hathaway was reputedly born upon, and in one room is a charming old settle beside the fireplace, believed to be where the couple sat when William came to visit.
The cottage is surrounded by a typically English cottage garden full of sweet scented flowers and plants. Part of the garden landscape has been laid out as a tree garden in honour of William Shakespeare, and there is also an adjoining orchard.
Anne Hathaway's cottage makes a delightful visit for everyone, it fully lives up to the "Picture Post-card and Chocolate Box" image flooded all over the world. Apart from the birthplace itself, this lovely thatched cottage, in it's perfect English setting, is quite probably the best loved of all Stratford's historic properties.
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