Shakespeare's Death

Attractions Stratford upon Avon

Holly Trinity Church, the resting place of Shakespeare
The grave of William Shakespeare, click to enlarge   A stained glass window in Holly Trinity Church, click to enlarge   Holly Trinity Church a view from the river Avon, click to enlarge   Holly Trinity Church, click to enlarge

Born on the 23rd April 1564, William Shakespeare's life came full circle when he died on the corresponding date 52 years later in 1616. His last resting place is at Holy Trinity Church, the same church where he was baptised and in which would have worshipped as a boy and during his later retirement years in Stratford.

The church (or The Collegiate Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity to give it its full name) dates from 1210 and is Stratford's oldest building.More than 200,000 tourists visit the church , built on the site of a Saxon monastery, each year and it can easily lay claim to being Britain's most visited parish church.. The fact that Shakespeare was buried so prominently within the church actually had nothing to do with his literary talent but was because he was a lay rector of the church, which entitled him to burial therein.
The Bard's bones survived the common practice at the time of removing remains after 40 years to make way for another body. A curse was carved into the headstone (there is no evidence that Shakespeare himself composed it, rather a concerned admirer) warning that his bones should not be touched;
'Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To digg the dust encloased heare, Blest by the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.'
Within a few years of his death and during his wife Anne's lifetime, a memorial to Shakespeare was erected and is thought to be a good likeness..The right of burial was inherited by Shakespeare's family and Anne Hathaway, daughter Suzanna, son-in-law Dr John Hall and Thomas Nash (first husband of Shakespeare's granddaughter Elizabeth) are also buried in the the Holy Trinity Church chancel alongside him.

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