The inner yard was a fragile grey screed floor, partly raked, abutting the line of the inner walls and measuring some 15m (49ft 2.5in) from east to west and from the stage, 9m (29ft 6in) from north to south, covering approximately 117.3m2 (1262.62ft2). Practical experiments conducted by MOLA on the capacity of the playhouse have suggested that the size of the Phase I yard might accommodate 400 people loosely packed, and 530 tightly packed.76

The southern half was virtually level (an average of 1.08m OD, sloping by 2 degrees), however, the northern half raked downwards about 0.5m (1ft 8in)—approximately 5 degrees—to the front of the stage, but may have levelled out just in front of it.77 The surface in front of the stage had been severely eroded; exacerbated, perhaps, by the press of the groundlings to the front of the stage but also water erosion.78 The mortar floor had been repaired many times. Whilst the rake downwards probably allowed better viewing of the stage by those further back, drainage would have been a problem.79

The yard, Phase I © De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. To view the image using Google Cardboard, click here.

[76] Bowsher and Miller, The Rose and the Globe, 157.

[77] Ibid, 48.

[78] Bowsher, The Rose Theatre, 43. See also Fig. 40 in Bowsher and Miller, The Rose and the Globe, 49.

[79] A barrel found under the western end of the stage wall may have something to do with a drainage system.