Mary Arden’s FarmStratford-upon-Avon
Station Road
Wilmcote
 
 
 
Of all the five properties owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Mary Arden’s House and working Tudor farm is the most rewarding for the younger visitor.
 
Mary Arden’s Farm is about 3 miles (5 km) from Stratford Town centre in the village of Wilmcote. The House is the childhood home of William Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden.  The site comprises the Arden farmhouse and neighbouring Palmer’s Farm.
 
The Arden’s farming lifestyle would have been very familiar to their young grandson, William, and it has been authentically recreated in this wonderful living museum. The house and farm reflect life in the 16th century, specifically 1573.
 
Mary Arden’s Home
Until the 20th century the actual house in which Mary Arden grew up was a working farmhouse and thus retains many of the changes made to it over the centuries.  For example the original Tudor exterior walls of the house were rebuilt in brick during the 18th century. However, much of the building’s original timber frame structure still exists inside and has been dated back to 1514 by tree-ring analysis.
 
Entry from the garden is via the living room, part of the original house built in 1514.  A few years later, a new wing was constructed that now contains the dairy and a display of traditional cheese and butter making equipment.
 
The living room leads into the parlor, which houses the high-quality furniture reserved for special occasions. A grand, long-case clock dominates this room along with other dark-wood furniture.
 
At the back of the house is the kitchen displaying traditional clothes washing equipment. This room leads out to an enclosed farmyard.
 
Palmer’s Farm
For many years this half-timbered house was thought to be the Arden home.  It was in fact owned by the Arden family but rented to Adam Palmer who lived there and worked the farm.
 
Palmer’s Farm, adjacent to Mary Arden’s house, is where you find out what being a Tudor farmer was like.  The farm is filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the 1570s as costumed guides undertake the daily chores such as wood chopping, churning butter, making cheese and baking bread.
 
You can even join in and try your hand at these traditional skills.  Experience crafts such as rope bee skep making, basket weaving and cider pressing.   Help with the traditional chores such as gardening, threshing, and animal tending - feed the pigs with rosy red crab apples grown in the orchard.
 
Rare Animal Breeds
The farm is stocked with many rare breeds of animals such as Mangalitza and Tamworth Pigs, Cotswold Sheep, Long Horn Cattle, Baggot and Golden Guernsey Goats, and Geese.  Birds of Prey sometimes fly in to provide an impromptu display. Close by is the Steve Wright Hawkwise Falconry Centre.
 
Unlike modern farms, some animals live in small temporary enclosures constructed of woven panels known as ‘hurdles’.  These lightweight fences are woven out of willow like a basket and can be easily moved around.
 
Mary Arden's Farm is a working farm that keeps pace with the seasons which means there is always something new to see and do. Look out for the daily activity boards listing what’s on.
 
Nature trails throughout the grounds bring visitors face to face with roaming rare breed animals, woodpeckers, rabbits and deer.  The pastures and meadows are covered in wildflowers during the summer.
 
Plan your Day
Accommodation - Search & Book through Booking.com here: 

 

 
Opening Hours & Tickets
Daily (April to October) 10:00 - 17:00 hours
Closed November to March
Check out the different ticketing options at  Web:  Mary Arden's Farm - Opening Times & Tickets
 
This is one of five properties owned and managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The other properties are Shakespeare's Birthplace, Nash's House & New Place and Hall's Croft all in Stratford together with Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Shottery.
 
Disabled Access
Most of the ground floors of Mary Arden’s Farm and Palmer’s Farm are accessible to wheelchair users.
Palmer’s Farm garden is not accessible to wheelchairs.
The farm, other gardens and some field walks are accessible.
Accessible toilets available
 
Facilities
Gift shop, Tea Room, Toilets and free Car Park.
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone    +44 (0)1789 293 455
 
Getting There
- By Car    If coming from either Stratford or Birmingham, take the A340 and take the Pathlow/ Featherbed Lane exit.  Free parking.
- By Train  Hourly trains run from Stratford Railway Station to Wilmcote every day. Journey time is 5 minutes.  The Mary Arden House complex is only about ½ mile (800 metres) from the Wilmcote railway station.
 
City Sightseeing Bus Tour
The Mary Arden Farm is included in these tours.
 
Google Map - Mary Arden's Farm