‘The Theatre’ in Shoreditch named one of 10 best archaeological discoveries of the decade by Historic England

PUBLISHED: 14:12 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:00 08 January 2020

Archaeologists from MOLA excavate The Theatre. Picture: Museum of London Archaeology

Archaeologists from MOLA excavate The Theatre. Picture: Museum of London Archaeology


The remains of a Shakespearean theatre in Shoreditch has been named one of the top ten archaeological discoveries of the decade by the government advisory group Historic England.

Built in 1576-7 in what is now Curtain Road, it was known as just 'The Theatre', and was the first permanent theatre built in England.

It is thought to be the site of the first performance of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' in 1596, and Christopher Marlowe's 'Faustus' in 1592.

In 1598, the building was dismantled and the timber was used to build the Globe Theatre on Bankside.

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Its foundations were discovered by archaeologists from the Museum of London in 2008 and were formally protected in 2016 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said: "This has been a truly remarkable decade of landmark archaeological discoveries.

"The past never ceases to amaze us and there is always more to learn."

The remains of 'the Theatre' will form part of the Box Office development.

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