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Bard Humbug: Scattering Ashes Policy in Shakespeare Land


In a disappointing revelation for Shakespeare enthusiasts, the Trust managing the Bard’s properties in Stratford-upon-Avon has confirmed that the scattering of ashes at any Shakespeare-related sites is prohibited.

Unfortunately the Trust that runs the properties in Stratford upon Avon has informed us that ‘[They] do not allow the scattering of ashes at any of the Shakespeare properties.’ .

This decision, while unfortunate for those hoping to connect their final tribute to the poet’s legacy, underscores the broader challenges and considerations that come with choosing a scattering location.

Understanding the Restrictions

The Trust’s restriction is likely influenced by the limited space available at these historic sites and the high volume of visitors they attract. Preserving the sanctity and aesthetic of these culturally significant locations is crucial, not only for maintaining historical integrity but also for ensuring that all visitors can enjoy unobstructed access to these sites.

Choosing a Scattering Location

When considering scattering ashes, it’s essential to think about the suitability of the location not just for the person being memorialised but also in terms of safety, appropriateness, and legality. Here are some aspects to consider:

  1. Public vs. Private Land: Many public spaces have restrictions or require permissions for ash scattering to avoid impacting the environment or the experience of other visitors. Private land typically requires the consent of the landowner.
  2. Cultural and Historical Sites: Places like Shakespeare’s properties are often under the stewardship of trusts or local authorities that set rules to preserve the historical and aesthetic value of these locations. Scattering ashes here without permission could be legally problematic and disrespectful to the cultural significance of the site.
  3. Safety Concerns: Choosing a location should also factor in the safety of the terrain. Unstable cliffs, busy public areas, or protected wildlife reserves pose risks and potential legal issues. For instance, scattering ashes on Juliet’s balcony in Verona, while theatrically appealing, is impractical and likely to be frowned upon by local authorities and tourists.

A shame but I guess they don’t have much space and a lot of visitors.

Perhaps you could could choose somewhere prominent from your favourite texts – although I wouldn’t suggest Juliet’s balcony in Verona, as it would be unwelcome by other passers by…!

1 thought on “Bard Humbug: Scattering Ashes Policy in Shakespeare Land

  1. Reply
    Charles Cowling - 15th September 2010

    The Forest of Arden is still a pretty big place, offering privacy for an uninhibited ceremony and Bardic declamation.

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