As a follow-up to my blog in April about a wartime production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (https://silibrary1.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/wartime-amateur-theatricals-in-northampton/) last weekend I visited Abington Park in Northampton where it was staged. The church where Shakespeare’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Bernard, was buried was open on Sunday as part of the Heritage Open Days scheme as mentioned in Sylvia Morris’s blog http://theshakespeareblog.com/2016/09/heritage-open-days-2016/.
St Peter and St Paul Church is a beautiful little church dating back to the twelfth century, built in typical Northamptonshire ironstone.
Elizabeth’s second husband, John Bernard, has a grave stone in the church and, when Elizabeth’s coffin was found in a vault beneath the Lady Chapel, a plaque was placed on the wall nearby.
The house where John and Elizabeth lived is now the museum next to the church and in the grounds is the mulberry tree planted by David Garrick in 1778 as a cutting allegedly from Shakespeare’s mulberry tree at New Place in Stratford. There is a plaque marking the event and an explanatory sign.
Kate Welch, Senior Information Assistant