The Mayor of Stratford has thrown her support behind a £22,000 crowd-funding appeal to complete the town’s Historic Spine Plaque Project.
The Historic Spine is the mile-long route from Shakespeare’s birthplace in Henley Street, along High Street, Chapel Street, Church Street and Old Town, to his grave at Holy Trinity Church.
Along it are grouped structures from all periods, medieval to Victorian, including all but one of the town’s Grade I listed buildings and 11 of its 15 listed as Grade II.
The plaque project, led by the Stratford Society, involves placing ceramic plaques by those buildings, describing their history and significance as well as dating the timber-framed ones by dendrochronology (tree-ring dating).
Stratford mayor Cllr Kate Rolfe said: “I support this project. So much of our heritage can be seen in the buildings, so many of which are along the historic spine. The plaques remind us of the historical details which are part of the fabric of these buildings.”
So far, ten of the 18 initially planned plaques are in place or ready to be installed. If the appeal is successful, the remaining eight plaques will be installed and at least six more buildings will be timber-dated.
The overall cost of carrying out the work will be £32,000, but £10,000 has already been donated, with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, King Edward VI School, Stratford Town Trust, the Shakespeare Institute, the Friends of the Guild Chapel and the Falcon Hotel all chipping in so far.
It is hoped that the remaining £22,000 will be raised by the appeal deadline of 30th November.
Students from KES created the appeal website at www.spacehive.com/historic-spine where backers can pledge their support.