THE Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is giving members of the public the unique chance to volunteer as amateur archaeologists, as it prepares to excavate the remains of Shakespeare’s house and rubbish pits at his final home in New Place, Stratford upon Avon, this spring and summer.
The prospect of learning how to become an archaeologist with the professionals from Birmingham University’s team is likely to arouse a lot of interest.
No previous experience is required for the chance to be at the forefront in the hunt for new information about Shakespeare.
The lost house was bought by Shakespeare in 1597 and he lived there with his family until his death in 1616.
It was controversially demolished in the 1750s by a clergyman from Lichfield and the site has since remained empty.
An earlier excavation by the Victorians uncovered walls, wells and other remains, but several important parts of the site were untouched.
With developments in archaeology since then, the Trust and their partners at Birmingham Archaeology are confident that many new discoveries about Shakespeare’s life could be found.
These are just some of the volunteering opportunities being offered by the Trust as it opens its doors to anyone who wants to get involved.
As well as becoming a member of the archaeological team, there are opportunities to work in the archives amongst Shakespeare-related manuscripts and artefacts and at Mary Arden’s Farm in Wilmcote.
The popular Tudor working farm reopens on March 22, with even more hands-on Tudor activities for visitors to take part in.
The Trust is looking for brewers, bakers, dancing teachers, musicians, goat herders, and more. Volunteer Tudors will be dressed in keeping with their role by the Trust and get the chance to cook and sample traditional Tudor food.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer archaeologist, Tudor archivist or helping in any other way, can phone Anne Doughty on 01789 204016, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org