?> - The building - Chaucer Head Bookshop, Stratford upon Avon

The Chaucer Head Bookshop, Stratford upon Avon


The shop is located in a Grade II listed building at 21, Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon. The history of the building is fascinating in itself; it was home to Julius Shaw, a friend of Shakespeare best known for being a witness to the poet and dramatist's will. Over the centuries it has also housed the first infirmary in Stratford and at least two banks (visitors can see the extraordinarily thick door which presumably made up the first line of bank security). In 1905 it became home to The Shakespeare Head Press, founded by Edmund Bullen after he had a dream in which he was presented with a copy of the works of Shakespeare printed in the poet's home town . On occasion we obtain copies of books printed on the premises over 100 years ago - all in all living and working in this building instils a great and privileged sense of history, heritage and continuity.

Because of the Shakespeare connection a wealth of documentary evidence survives - for example the names and occupations of each tenant for the last 400 plus years can be traced. One day we hope to put some of the historical information and material about the building onto this web site - but it may be some time.

We are halfway down the "historic spine" of Stratford upon Avon, the route linking the Parish Church of Holy Trinity with Shakespeare's Birthplace in the heart of the "New Town" - in inverted commas because it was laid out in 1196, under a charter granted by the Bishop Of Worcester. If you are planning a trip to Stratford upon Avon, and have limited time, then we can recommend the historic spine walk - click here for more details.  This will open in a new window on the Stratford Society website.