Standing across from Shakespeare’s final home, New Place, the Guild Chapel has long associations with the playwright and his family. With a history dating back to 1269 it’s an integral and fascinating part of the history of Stratford-upon-Avon. The Chapel houses some of the finest medieval wall paintings in the UK, covered up on the orders of Shakespeare’s father in the 16th century following the Reformation, when he was the then Chamberlain of the Corporation of Stratford, and discovered under layers of limewash many hundreds of years later. These paintings, depicting religious and allegorical themes, have been described by conservators as some of the country’s finest survivals and of national significance. A major campaign to conserve and showcase the paintings is now underway, led by Stratford Town Trust, custodian of the Chapel.
The Chapel is open daily to visitors, with voluntary collections towards the conservation work invited. It remains as place of worship, used by the pupils of King Edward VI Grammar School daily and with a service of Holy Communion open to all at 10am every Wednesday.
The Chapel also hosts recitals and dramatic performances, its exceptional acoustics and wonderful new organ – inaguarated by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2014, make it a wonderful venue for musical events.
The Guild Chapel is maintained by Stratford Town Trust, with the support of the Friends of the Guild Chapel.