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Harvard House, Stratford-upon-Avon

(3.1/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
. The House has been cared for by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, on behalf of Harvard University, since 1990.Thomas Rogers' initials and those of his second wife, Alice, are carved on the front of the house, together with the date 1596. These indicate it was a separate house, although Rogers also owned the adjoining property at what is now 27 and 28 High Street.About 60 years old when the house was built, Rogers was a successful butcher and also a corn and cattle merchant. He served as Alderman for the Stratford Corporation alongside John Shakespeare, William’s father. The elaborately carved front of the building is a clear statement of his wealth and social-standing.When Thomas died in 1611 he left the house to his eldest surviving son from his second marriage, also named Thomas. This Thomas was a maltster; a person who produced malt, which was used in brewing beer. He died in 1639 and the property passed to his son, Edward Rogers, a bookbinder.In the middle of the 1600s, Edward Rogers sold the house to John Capp, a blacksmith, whose family continued to run the business until about 1725. It was then let to a series of tenants; booksellers in the early 1730s and 1760s, a plumber during the years 1734-1747, and a succession of ironmongers from 1782 until 1801. Tailors Thomas and Harvey Williams were in occupation until 1871, when the premises became an estate agent's office.In 1909, at the suggestion and enthusiastic support of the English novelist and Stratford-upon-Avon resident Marie Corelli, the house was purchased by the American millionaire Edward Morris of Chicago. After extensive restoration, it was given to Harvard University and became known as Harvard House.The America ConnectionThe link with the name Harvard begins in 1605 with the marriage in Stratford-upon-Avon of Thomas Rogers’ daughter Katherine to Robert Harvard of Southwark. Robert was a butcher, tavern owner and a warden of St. Saviour’s church, now Southwark Cathedral.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Managed to visit this place before it was closed. Very interesting and it is a shame it has now been closed.  more »
  • We visited here as part of our attraction ticket. It's very small and doesn't take long to look around but we liked it and the architecture is very interesting.  more »
  • If it were not owned by the influential Harvard University, perhaps this house would have been demolished long ago. It was the house where one of the early benefactors of Harvard University lived. Sma...  more »
Google
  • Again part of the Shakespeare village very informative