The Guild Chapel, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire


The Guild Chapel in Stratford-upon-Avon has strong links to Stratford’s famous son. Not only is it literally across the road from New Place, William Shakespeare’s home, but his father, John, as town bailiff, was tasked with removing the wall paintings as part of the Reformation. He chose to cover them with limewash, which is why they survive to be enjoyed today.

Inside the wood panelled chapel, practically all exposed stonework has some graffiti on it, but most of it is clustered on the two pillars between the nave and chancel. 

There are several names, Thomas, Roger, Will and a William. Yes, I know, it’s not going to be THAT William, but still…

There are several Marian marks, in M and W form. There is also a curious, double Marian mark, which appears twice.

The rest of the graffiti comprises dot patterns, mason’s marks, incomplete compass drawn circles, crosses, shields and initials.

The Guild Chapel

Chapel Lane

Stratford Upon Avon

CV37 6EP



Report by Anthea Hawdon

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