“Here’s the [shop] I sought for so.”

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Following on from Matt’s tour of the Folger Shakespeare Library Bookshop, we thought it would be nice to invite our readers on a virtual tour of our very own Shakespeare Bookshop. This then got us thinking about the shop premises themselves, as the building itself shows its long and varied history. Inside is half timber construction, perhaps going back to 1692, when the building belonged to a blacksmith. The brick façade is clearly much later, from the 19th century, and was in place by the time the premises had become a local pub known as the Stratford Arms. A bit of detective work led us to this photo, taken in 1925, of the bookshop when it was an antique shop:

Photo by permission of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, from the Shakespeare Centre Library and Archive Local Collections, available to view in the SCLA Reading Room

To bring us up to date, here is our tour of the Shakespeare Bookshop, 2010:

  • http://shakespeare.org.uk Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

    what a wonderful story – how resourceful of Waldo! I am not sure about the current status of the cellar but someone here will know… ^liz

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cyril-Bennis/611667674 Cyril Bennis

    I heard a great story from a local resident about the bookshop when it was the shop of the puppeteer Waldo Lanchester in the ’50’s and ’60’s. The cellar kept flooding, and Waldo was convinced the water came from the neighbouring premises, which was hotly denied. Waldo filled his neighbour’s bath with water he had dyed red and pulled the plug, returned to his shop, went to the cellar to find it awash with red water, and his point was proved. Do you still use the cellar at all now, and is it dry, I wonder?

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