Hall’s Croft in Stratford-upon-Avon is the former home of William Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband, John Hall. The wealthy couple commissioned this grand home, living here for just a few years from 1613/14 before moving to New Place, after the death of Shakespeare in 1616. Today, the property is one of the finest historic homes in Stratford-upon-Avon, and the gardens are a haven of peace and beauty.
Here’s what to expect when you visit Hall’s Croft in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Old Town, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6BG
What’s at Hall’s Croft?
Enter Hall’s Croft in Stratford-upon-Avon and take a right into the cafe (more on that later) or enter the attraction by veering to your left. You can borrow a handy guide and there’s usually an activity sheet or two for the children.
The house has been extended during its impressive 405-year life and even used as a school, so the most historic part of the ground floor is a jigsaw puzzle of rooms from the 1600s. You’ll weave through an entrance hall, with its grand fireplace, a parlour, a passageway and the dispensary of John Hall, who was a physician with a keen focus on medicines made from herbs, plants and gemstones – all seen as alternative remedies these days but quite common during Shakespeare’s lifetime.
The back hall and kitchen were additions by the Smith family, who moved into Hall’s Croft when John, Susanna and their only child, Elizabeth, moved out. Though later extensions (around the middle of the 17th century), the rooms are still indicative of how Susanna would have lived. Given that Shakespeare’s New Place was demolished, Hall’s Croft is perhaps the best of the Shakespeare Family Homes in which to envision the lives of the wealthy playwright and his family.
Upstairs, you can see the master bedroom, a space dressed as Elizabeth’s bedroom, and an exhibition space, while outside, the large and pleasant town garden features trees, colourful planting, herbs and plenty of spaces in which to just sit and relish the stillness, just minutes from the busy centre of Stratford-upon-Avon.
Don’t miss at Hall’s Croft
A visit to Hall’s Croft is not complete without a stop at the cafe. Meat and fruit from Mary Arden’s Farm plus herbs from Hall’s Croft garden are all on the menu here, where Tudor-inspired specials sit alongside favourites, such as pies, tarts and afternoon tea. You can dine at the cafe’s indoor tables without paying to enter Hall’s Croft.
Location of Hall’s Croft
Hall’s Croft is located in Old Town, which is only minutes on foot from the shops, cafes and restaurants of Stratford town centre. You can follow the path alongside the River Avon from the theatres, turning right before you get to Holy Trinity Church, or get there via High Street, Chapel Street and Church Street (one long street that changes names), passing New Place and Shakespeare’s Schoolroom along the way.
Hall’s Croft opening times
10am-5pm late March to September 2; 10am-4.30pm September 3 to November 4; 11am-3.30pm winter
Hall’s Croft price
Hall’s Croft has the cheapest entry price of the Shakespeare Family Homes, at £7.65 for adults and £4.95 for children (under 3s free).
However, it’s still worth looking at the Full Story ticket to get unlimited visits to all five Shakespeare Birthplace Trust properties for 12 months. This costs £20.25 for adults and £13.05 for children.
Value for money? Yes, especially if you can make use of the Full Story ticket and make repeated visits (there are more reasons to get your hands on an annual pass. Read them here). Book online and get an extra 10 per cent off.
The Stratfordblog verdict
Just like New Place, Hall’s Croft is a corner of Stratford-upon-Avon that feels calm, quiet and relaxed when compared to the busy central streets of the town. It’s ideal for a one-off glimpse into the lives of the wealthy Shakespeares, but even better for repeated visits for tea in the garden or a soundless moment in history.
This is also, perhaps, the most grown-up of the Shakespeare Family Homes (Mary Arden’s Farm, New Place and Anne Hathway’s Cottage are more suited to young visitors), yet there’s always something on at Hall’s Croft to entice the next generation to discover Shakespeare, Stratford’s favourite son.
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Information correct at date of publication