William Shakespeare slept here.
That’s why they call the 4,642-square-foot historic home in the U.K. village of Grendon Underwood the Shakespeare House. Located on the border of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire — about two hours northwest of London by rail — the residence hit the market Wednesday for £1.5 million, or $1.84 million.
A former “coaching inn” from the late 16th or early 17th century, the building was known as the Ship Inn and catered to travelers who needed a bed and a barn for their horses. It was a stopping point for William Shakespeare when he would travel between Stratford-upon-Avon — where he was born — and London, according to local legend and the 17th-century biographer John Aubrey.
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“It is commonly supposed that Grendon Underwood, which lay on the forest tracks used by gypsies and strolling players, was visited more than once by Shakespeare, who stayed at the house above-mentioned, formerly an inn, now known as Shakespeare Farm,” according to “A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4,” sited on British History Online.
The Shakespeare House offers seven bedrooms, five bathrooms and four reception rooms, and has been restored by its current owners. It retains myriad original details, such as leaded windows, exposed beams, oak flooring, hardwood doors and open fireplaces, according to the listing with Savills.
President Barack Obama answered questions at a town hall in London, and visited Shakespeare’s Globe Theater on Saturday, the last day of his U.K. visit. Photo: AP
“Shakespeare House is such a magical property, there is so much character and yet it is still a wonderful family home,” agent Huw Warren of Savills Summertown said in a statement. “But on top [of] the house being architecturally important and beautifully renovated is the extraordinary Shakespeare connection, making this house a real one-of-a-kind opportunity. Not many can lay claim to owning a real piece of literary history that was where The Bard stayed on numerous occasions.”
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Shakespeare is said to have taken inspiration for characters in “Much Ado About Nothing” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” from people he met at The Ship Inn—and may have even written the plays there, according to the website British Forklore. The building has a Grade II* historic listing, meaning the preservation group Historic England has designated it as a place of historic importance in the country.
The home last sold in 2013 for £700,000, according to Land Registry records. The sellers were not immediately available for comment.