Shakespeare's Grave

Learn About Shakespeare's Grave

Shakespeare's Gravestone at Holy Trinity Stratford-upon-Avon. Getty Images

You can still visit the grave of William Shakespeare at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.

Shakespeare was actually buried inside the church and, for a small fee, you can walk up to the church’s chancel and view the epitaph engraved into the stone:

Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.

The grave attracts thousands of Shakespeare tourists every year.

Why is Shakespeare’s Grave Inside?

Despite popular belief, Shakespeare was not buried in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church out of a mark of respect for his life’s achievements. Rather, Shakespeare paid for the privilege!

By the time Shakespeare died in 1616, he had amassed a sizable personal wealth – in part from his success as a playwright and in part from some astute investments made in both London and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Before his death, Shakespeare was able to buy a tithe deed for £440 which gave him the right to be buried in the chancel alongside other family members.

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Jamieson, Lee. "Shakespeare's Grave." ThoughtCo, Apr. 4, 2016, Jamieson, Lee. (2016, April 4). Shakespeare's Grave. Retrieved from Jamieson, Lee. "Shakespeare's Grave." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 19, 2017).