Shakespeare's Globe: The most famous Elizabethan theatre, resurrected

Shakespeare's Globe is a modern replica of the Bard's flagship theatre, created by Sam Wanamaker and opened in 1997.


When the new Globe opened, it became the first thatched roof in London since 1666. When the Great Fire of London swept from Pudding Lane across London, it pretty much destroyed the entire city - largely thanks to the massive amount of dry, fire-friendly kindling the close-knit wooden houses with straw roofs provided.


Following the disaster, building regulations changed in London, with a minimum thickness of party walls and a complete ban on wooden structures and thatched roofs within the city limits.


The theatre Shakespeare knew was not where today's stands, but a site close by on Bankside, now covered with a housing tenement. Its outline can be seen in the communal courtyard.


Wanamaker's recreation was based on drawings, etchings, and eyewitness accounts from the time, including manager Philip Henslowe's diary. Also nearby are the hidden foundations of the Rose, another theatre closely associated with Shakespeare.


Ironically, the original Globe was itself destroyed by fire in 1613, when the roof was torched by a cannon going off in Henry VIII. The play became notorious, and was only allowed to return to the theatre in 2010 following a ‘dousing ceremony'.