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While I was in Stratford upon Avon recently to see a Shakespeare play I came across a leaflet stating that tours were being offered around Shakespeare’s old school, King Edward VI School in the heart of the town. I made an impromptu visit, eager to enjoy the chance to look around.

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Entrance to the building on Church Street

I was given a tour by a very pleasant and polite pupil of the school (feeling incredibly old as I write that). The building incorporates the 16th century Upper and Lower Guildhall, still used today. The school itself is still going and it is a state school, not a private school, as I’d thought at first. Shakespeare attended this school, then Stratford Grammar School, between the ages of approximately 7 and 14.

The Lower Guildhall

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Wall paintings can still be seen

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From the back

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Way in from the back

The Upper Guildhall

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More “hidden” pictures are just visible on the wall

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Table around which Guild members would have sat

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The schoolroom, where Shakespeare would have received his education

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This pane of glass was kept when the rest was replaced, as it may bear William Shakespeare’s signature

The school was raising money for a forthcoming performance of John Ford’s The Lady’s Trial at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in London (the Jacobean playhouse at the Globe Theatre). I wish them the best of luck with their production.

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