About Searching for Shakespeare

The artefacts of New Place 3D

Project Origins and Goals:

The purpose of this collection is to provide the ability to view selected objects recovered from the excavations of the site of New Place between 2010 and 2016. These objects are presently housed in the museum collections of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and most are not readily available to be viewed by the public.  

The virtual objects on display here have been scanned using structured light 3D scanners. The scanning process has enabled the production of 3D models of objects which can be viewed, rotated and interacted with online. 

There are multiple outcomes in digitising this archaeological resource. The resulting 3D scans are presented for analysis, enhancement, research and preservation purposes ensuring accessibility to a wide audience. This participatory and interactive database presents only a small number of the artefacts recovered from the New Place excavationsThe digitization of the entire archive remains a future goal. 

Background to the New Place Excavations:

Excavations were begun on the site of Shakespeare’s family home, New Place, in March 2010. Undertaken by a team of archaeologists and supported by around 120 volunteers, the project continued for a further 5 years. Over this period, much of the footprint of the former house was excavated, a large area of ground owned by Shakespeare to the rear of the property however, still remains untouched. 

The purpose of the project was to find out as much as possible about the New Place that Shakespeare had known, present the excavations as part of the general visitor’s experience of the site, and to engage with the volunteers who worked alongside the archaeologists. 

The archaeological process was complex and was complicated by the layers of renovations and remodelling that the site of New Place had been subjected to over its lifetime and, because an extensive excavation was previously been undertaken on the site in the 19th century. 

The results have been published in Finding Shakespeare’s New Place- An archaeological biography, by Paul Edmondson, William Mitchell and Kevin Colls, 2016, Manchester University Press.


Meet the team

  • Will Mitchell
    Will Mitchell
  • Kevin Colls
    Kevin Colls
  • Phil Watson
    Phil Watson
  • David 'Ed' Edwards
    David 'Ed' Edwards
    Technical Specialist

Partners and associates


  • Macro 3D Scanner
    Macro 3D Scanner

    Built for demanding industry applications, MechScan white-light macro 3D scanner is designed and engineered specifically for digitising extremely small objects.

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  • Scan in a box-FX
    Scan in a box-FX

    The Scan In a Box FX uses structured light 3D scanning technology. This desktop 3D scanner has a mobile, adaptable structure and a simple configuration.

    Visit official website