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The Globe Theatre

plaque on the site of the Globe Theatre
This simple plaque attached to the wall of a car park is the only reminder of where the original Shakespeare’s Globe once stood.

The Globe was first opened here in 1599 before the river embankment was constructed the Thames was only a few short feet away. Richard Burbage had taken the timber from his first Theatre in Shoreditch and re-erected it here. On the 29th June 1613, during a performance of Henry the Eighth, the Globe went up in flames. Theatrical cannons, set off during the performance, misfired, igniting the wooden beams and thatching. It was rebuilt again soon afterwards and then closed down by the Puritans in 1642, destroyed forever in 1644. This original site in Park Street was only discovered in 1989 beneath a car park, with the shape of the foundations replicated in the road surface. The new Globe theatre was re-built to the same design as the original and now stands close to the river at Bankside.

Globe Car Park
The car park on the site of the original Globe, with the theatre outlined in the surface.

Globe rebuilt
Re-built copy of the Globe, about 200 yards from the original Globe Theatre.

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