Tolethorpe Hall

Tolethorpe Hall

Tolethope Hall in the parish of Little Casterton, Rutland, England, PE9 4BH is a country house near Stamford, Lincolnshire at gbmapping|TF023104. It is now the location of the Rutland Theatre of the Stamford Shakespeare Company.

The hall was the home of the Browne family, a notable member of which Robert (c. 1550-c. 1633), was born there. He was the leader of the Brownists, early advocates of a congregational form of organization for the Church of England. Having in 1580, attempted to set up a separate Church in Norwich, Norfolk, England, he was obliged to move to Middelburg in the Netherlands in 1581. See Congregational church. or, for more history with pictures, [ the Stamford Shakespeare site.]

The hall and its gardens are now noted as an outdoor Shakespearian theatre. The hall itself stands on the middle of three terraces cut in sloping ground. Its raked auditorium is arranged on the lower one, looking outward across the lower terrace which forms the open air stage behind which, is the open country of the Gwash Valley. The auditorium is permanently covered. The Stamford Shakespeare Company presents a three-month season each summer. Normally there are two Shakespeare plays and one by another seventeenth century playwright.

Tolethorpe is separated from the village of Little Casterton by the Gwash. It is about two miles (3 km) from the A1 Great North Road. The grounds of Tolethorpe occupy about seven acres.


* Thorne, J.O. "Chambers Biographical Dictionary" (1969) ISBN 0-550-16001-9.
* Cantor, Leonard, "The Historic COUNTRY HOUSES of Leicestershire & Rutland" (1998) [ Kairos Press] , ISBN 1-871344-15-8
* [ Stamford Shakespeare Company]
* [ Tolethorpe Hall – The American Connection] gives some historical details about members of the Browne family who settled in America.

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