Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. William Shakespeare's Place Of Baptism And Burial.

Stained-Glass Window in Holy Trinity Church,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.
The Church where William Shakespeare was Baptised and buried.
Date: 18 May 2006 (original upload date).
Source: Transferred from en.wikipedia to 
(Wikimedia Commons)

Text is taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

The Collegiate Church of The Holy and Undivided Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, is a Grade I Listed Parish Church of The Church of England in Stratford-upon-Avon.

It is often known simply as Holy Trinity Church, or, Shakespeare's Church, due to its fame as the place of Baptism and burial of William Shakespeare. More than 200,000 tourists visit the Church each year.

The building dates from 1210 and is built on the site of a Saxon Monastery. It is Stratford's oldest building and is situated on the banks of The River Avon, and is one of England's most visited Churches.

Holy Trinity Church,
Warwickshire, England.
Photo: 8 April 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Oosoom.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In the 14th-Century, John de Stratford founded a Chantry, which was rebuilt between 1465 and 1491 by Dean Thomas Balshall, who is buried at the Church. The building is believed to have originally had a Wooden Spire, which was replaced by William Hiorne in 1763.

Holy Trinity Church contains many interesting features, including:

A 14th-century Sanctuary Knocker in the Church's Porch (built circa 1500);

Twenty-six 15th-Century Misericord Seats in The Chancel, with Religious, Secular and Mythical carvings;

Several large Stained-Glass Windows featuring major English and Biblical Saints at the Church's East and West Ends.

Shakespeare's Funerary Monument,
Holy Trinity Church, Stratford Upon Avon, England.
Photo: 23 April 2006.
Source: Cropped from Image:ShakespeareMonument.JPG
released to PD by Tom Reedy.
Author: Cropped from original by current uploader. License as before.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The carved scenes of The Life of Jesus, around Balsall's tomb, were mutilated during The Reformation, as were most images of Christ. Notable 'survivors' include a remarkable Face of Christ, or, possibly, God the Father, within a Sedilia Canopy, and some beautiful Mediaeval Stained-Glass Windows depicting The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ and The Day of Pentecost. The Pre-Reformation Stone Altar slab, or Mensa, was found hidden beneath the floor in Victorian times and has now been re-instated as the High Altar.

The Church has a large three-manual Pipe Organ, which dates from 1841, by the Organ Builder William Hill. It has undergone several restorations by Hill, Norman and Beard, and Nicholson, and now has two separate sections. The Great and Swell 1 and Pedal 1 divisions are high on the wall above the Arch into The Tower Crossing and face West.

The Choir and Swell 2 and Pedal 2 divisions are at ground level between the Saint Peter Chapel and the South Aisle. A specification of the Organ can be found on The National Pipe Organ Register. The Organ Case was designed by George Frederick Bodley and Thomas Garner.

Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon 2010 PD 3.JPG

The Church of The Holy Trinity,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.
Photo: 25 July 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Bin im Garten.
(Wikimedia Commons)

William Shakespeare, Poet and Playwright, was Baptised in Holy Trinity Church on 26 April 1564 and was buried there on 25 April 1616. The Church still possesses the original Elizabethan Register giving details of his Baptism and burial, though it is kept by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for safekeeping.

He is buried in the beautiful 15th-Century Chancel, built by Thomas Balsall, Dean of the Collegiate Church, who was buried within it in 1491. Shakespeare was eligible to be buried in the Chancel owing to his position as a 'Lay Rector' of the Church, as Peter Ackroyd explains, this was due to his leasing of Tithes from the Church. This entitlement was taken either at his behest or on his behalf. Shakespeare's Funerary Monument is fixed on a wall alongside his burial place.

Shakespeare would have come to Holy Trinity Church every week, when he was in Town, i.e. all through his childhood and on his return to live at New Place. His wife, Anne Hathaway, is buried next to him along with his eldest daughter, Susanna. The Church witnessed a sad episode shortly before Shakespeare's death. The day after Shakespeare signed his Last Will and Testament on 25 March 1616 in a 'shaky hand', William's son-in-law, Thomas Quiney was found guilty in the Church Court of fathering an illegitimate son by a Margaret Wheler, who had recently died in childbirth. Quiney was ordered to do Public Penance within the Church. The distress and shame for the Shakespeare family must have been immense. Within a month, Shakespeare was dead, his funeral and burial being held at Holy Trinity Church on 25 April 1616.

Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon 2010 PD 4.JPG

The grave of William Shakespeare.
The Church of The Holy Trinity,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.
Photo: 25 July 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Bin im Garten.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Above the grave, a badly-eroded stone slab displays his epitaph:
It has been claimed, by at least one textbook author, that the warning has served to prevent both the removal of Shakespeare's body to Westminster Abbey and the exhumation of his body for examination.

The grave of Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway, is next to her husband's. The inscription states:

"Here lyeth the body of Anne, wife of William Shakespeare,
who departed this life the 6th day of August 1623, being of the age of 67 years."

Holy Trinity, Stratford, E. end.jpg

Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England,
with Shakespeare's Funerary Monument in Bottom Left Corner.
Photo: 23 May 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Poliphilo.
(Wikimedia Commons)

A Latin inscription followed, which translates as:
"Breasts, O mother, milk and life thou didst give. Woe is me - for how great a boon shall I give stones? How much rather would I Pray that the good Angel should move the stone, so that, like Christ's Body, thine image might come forth ! But my Prayers are unavailing. Come quickly, Christ, that my mother, though shut within this tomb, may rise again and reach the stars." 
The inscription may have been written by John Hall on behalf of his wife, Anne's daughter, Susanna.

The Church houses Shakespeare's Funerary Monument, which was renovated in 1746 through proceeds from a production of Othello; it is the first recorded performance of a Shakespeare Play in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The official Web-Site of Holy Trinity Church can be found at

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