Everyone knows the great William Shakespeare is buried at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford Upon Avon. But how much of William Shakespeare is really there?

The Telegraph newspaper released a report on the 23rd of March which detailed the findings of Channel 4’s documentary Secret History: Shakespeare’s Tomb. The team behind the documentary have discovered that a significant aspect of Shakespeare’s body is very probably missing from his grave.

“An 1879 report claimed that Shakespeare’s head had been stolen from his grave”

Not the absence of flesh and blood from his skeleton, rather the more significant absence of the Bard’s head. An 1879 report claimed that Shakespeare’s head had been stolen from his grave, and it has now been revealed that the high-tech radar scan seeking to prove the 1879 claim to be true has discovered some interesting findings within Shakespeare’s grave.

Kevin Colls, the lead archaeologist of this project, discovered what he described as an ‘odd disturbance at the head of the grave’. He remains convinced that Shakespeare’s head is no longer at the Holy Trinity Church, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

“There appears to be an ‘odd disturbance at the head of the grave'”

Previous suggestions concerning the theft of Shakespeare’s head, and indeed the proposal of where it may be, have been dismissed as ‘Gothic fiction’. Therefore, it is up to the Miss Marples and Hercule Poirots of today to discover the truth of the mystery of Shakespeare’s missing head. Whodunnit? We shall have to wait and see if more evidence comes to light, but so far, and with no sign of the grave being opened in the near future, the truth of the whereabouts of the Bard’s head remains unknown…

Isla McLachlan

For more articles about the Bard, and for more articles from Impact Arts’ Shakespeare Week, follow Impact Arts on Facebook and Twitter

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