THE SHAKESPEARE Birthplace Trust is celebrating record visitor numbers.
The five Shakespeare family homes cared for by the trust – Shakespeare’s Birthplace, New Place, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Mary Arden’s Farm, and Hall’s Croft – welcomed a total of 872,000 visitors during 2017.
Trust operations and marketing director Philippa Rawlinson said: “In 2017 over 872,000 people visited the five Shakespeare family homes in Stratford, surpassing our previous record-breaking year in 2016 by five per cent. The re-opening of Shakespeare’s New Place has certainly contributed to the growth in numbers, reaching our 2019 target for New Place within 12 months of opening.
“The biggest area of growth was in our tour groups, up ten per cent, many of whom were international tourists making a special trip to our houses having been given the impetus to visit following the global focus of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary celebrations in 2016 – a real testament to the universal appeal of Shakespeare today.
“We are looking forward to welcoming many more visitors in 2018 – it’s certainly got off to a busy start.”
The birthplace welcomed just under 419,000 of the total visitors, while Shakespeare final Stratford home New Place saw 142,000 come through the doors, following its re-opening in 2016 following a £6million re-imagining.