A visit to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall lets you take in 600 years of history. The Guildhall played a prominent role in Stratford’s society and William Shakespeare attended its schoolroom during the 1570s.
The Guildhall was built around 1417 with a timber frame as is typical of buildings from that period. It was originally established by the Guild of the Holy Cross, a medieval religious foundation that was prominent in Stratford-upon-Avon at the time.
The building housed the offices of Stratford Borough Council from 1553 to 1560, at which point it became home to the King’s New School. William Shakespeare is the school’s most famous former student and he attended the school in the 1570s between the ages of seven and 14.
The school is still running, although it has expanded since it was originally founded and it is now known as King Edward VI School.
The guildhall underwent a £1.8 million restoration in 2016 and is now open to the public.
What to see at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall
The guild buildings are steeped in history and feature rare medieval wall paintings that you can see when the protective screen is lowered for just 45 seconds at a time.
A visit to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom is an immersive experience where visitors can dress up in period costume, join in a Tudor school lesson, do homework typical of the Tudor era and watch a short film about the type of lessons that Shakespeare would have attended.
Visiting Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall
Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall is near the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon, right next to the Guild Chapel, which was also founded by the Guild of the Holy Cross, and across the road from Shakespeare’s New Place. Most points of interest in Stratford-upon-Avon are no more than a 7–8-minute walk from here.
If you enjoyed your visit to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall, you should also visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London as well as the other various Shakespeare-related sights in Stratford-upon-Avon including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, his New Place, his wife’s cottage, his mum’s farm, his daughter’s house and his church.