(Above) New Place. © Justine Harrison Wood Photography
Planners behind the groundbreaking archaeological investigation at Shakespeare's final home, at New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon, are inviting the public to get involved when it starts next week (March 26 2010).
Three locations have been earmarked for excavation around the picturesque site, and a special walkway and viewing platform are being installed so visitors can get a closer look at the trenches and talk to the archaeologists while they work.
The Dig for Shakespeare project will involve a team of archaeologists from Birmingham Archaeology, helped by volunteer diggers in three different trenches in the Bard's backyard.
Investigators from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust hope to find correspondence, items of clothing and personal effects which once belonged to Shakespeare.
Archaeologists at work at New Place. Courtesy Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Archaeologists believe there could be a number of disused wells filled with refuse and waste when they were no longer used. Surrounding damp conditions would have preserved organic waste and detritus.
"We know a lot about Shakespeare's work, but relatively little about his later life, particularly when he started to spend far more time in his hometown," said Trust Chairman Professor Stanley Wells.
"We are hopeful that this dig will represent one of the most significant research opportunities for Shakespeare fans through the world, revealing and confirming many details of his later life about which we had previously only speculated about."
For more information about the dig or to book tickets visit www.shakespeare.org.uk.