Shakespeare voted England’s biggest claim to fame

Royal Shakespeare Company auditorium
Royal Shakespeare-Company auditorium. Credit: Visit England

Shakespeare has nabbed the number one spot in Visit England’s Hall of Fame, just in time for his 450th birthday.

Royal Shakespeare Company auditorium
Royal Shakespeare Company auditorium. Credit: Visit England


With 50% more votes than anyone else, William Shakespeare has been named England’s biggest claim to fame in a poll by Visit England.

The search to establish England’s Hall of Fame began in February when Visit England asked members of the public to submit suggestions for Britain’s best exports. Among ideas put forward were Harry Potter, Harry Styles, the mini skirt, The Beatles, Earl Grey tea and the Scotch Egg.

Bronze, silver and gold medals were awarded across six categories by a panel of experts, while (as it’s name suggests) The People’s Choice award was voted for by the people, proving the Bard of Avon’s enduring appeal.

Other winners in England’s Hall of Fame include: Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (History & Heritage); Octavia Hill, founder of the National Trust, for her work in social reform (The Great, the Good and the Notorious); the humble sandwich (Food & Drink); Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s engineering masterpieces, including Clifton Suspension Bridge (Inventions & Discoveries); the incidental birth of modern rugby during a football game at Rugby School in Warwickshire (Sport & Leisure); and the Fab Four took gold in the Culture & Entertainment category.

Shakespeare and all the other winners will be on display alongside other British icons, including Downton Abbey, Banksy and Glastonbury at the free open-air Hall of Fame exhibition, which opens today (St George’s Day) and runs until 30 April at Observation Point on London’s Southbank.

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The life and times of William Shakespeare
Countdown to 450th birthday of Shakespeare

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