Mary Arden's House

Attractions Stratford upon Avon

Mary Arden's House
Mary Arden's House, click to enlarge   The grounds of Mary Arden's House, click to enlarge   Inside Mary Ardens House, click to enlarge   Inside Mary Arden's House, click to enlarge

For many years visitors to Mary's Arden's House had actually been led up the garden path of the wrong house! The large farmhouse in Wilmcote, a few miles north of Stratford upon Avon, that it had always been assumed was the childhood home of Shakespeare's mother, was in fact the wrong one.

Routine timber dating a few years ago showed that the wood used in the farmhouse was not old enough to have been around when the Arden family lived in the village, but by happy coincidence a much smaller house nearby was found to be the actual family seat.Local records showed that the house had been built by Robert Arden, Mary's grandfather, in 1514 and further research was able to link the young Mary to the property. The larger farmhouse was renamed Palmer's Farm after the family who had lived in it for many years and the smaller house (which was by now also owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and which had been used by them as a Victorian exhibit- as it still is) was anointed as Mary Arden's true domicile.

Now both properties form part of a magnificent farm complex, housing an organic and rare breeds farm and providing a home to the Heart of England Falconry Centre. The picturesque countryside around the Palmer's Farm / Mary Arden's House complex teems with wild flowers and wildlife and offers ample opportunity for walks in the environs Shakespeare's mother would have known so well.

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