Jane Austen's House Museum

Jane Austen's House Museum

Hampshire

Jane Austen

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As the lady herself might have declared ‘Tis a truth universally acknowledged that a Jane Austen fan should head forth to the South East to chance upon a plethora of memorabilia and inspiration to her works’.

Jane Austen was born on 16th December 1775 at her father’s rectory at Steventon, Hampshire.  The rectory no longer stands but you can visit the 12th-century church where she was baptised.

Her brother Edward lived at nearby Chawton House, which is open for tours. It has recently acquires a rare first edition of Jane Austen’s favourite poet William Cowper's Poems – the copy that would have sat in her brother’s library and very likely read by Jane on her visits.  Take a 4.5 mile circular walking trail around the heart of Jane Austen country including the village of Farringdon and countryside that inspired her work.

Dances were a popular activity of the day and Jane Austen loved to go to them at the Vyne, a 16th- century house near Basingstoke in Hampshire, which is also now open to the public.

The countryside provided her with many inspirations; picnic at Box Hill on the North Downs of Surrey like Jane Austen’s heroine, Emma.  Wander around the romantic ruins of Netley Abbey near Southampton and step into a scene from Northhanger Abbey.

Visit Jane Austen’s House, a small private museum, where you can view the bedroom she shared with her sister. Pride of place is her desk by the window in the parlour where so many Jane Austen classics were revised and written including Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion.

In 1816 she became ill and moved to Winchester for medical care.  Alas, this would be her final chapter. Jane Austen died here on 18th July 1817 aged 41. She is buried in Winchester Cathedral where a tablet pays tribute to her prolific life.

Six facts about Jane Austen's links with Hampshire and beyond

  • Jane Austen held her 18th birthday party at the Dolphin Hotel, Southampton
  • Jane Austen wrote her 6 best-loved novels in the village of Chawton because it was where she felt truly at home
  • Jane’s tomb is in Winchester Cathedral where there is a memorial window to the author
  • Jane was born in Steventon Rectory, North Hampshire where her father was Rector.
  • Jane Austen was a frequent visitor to Goodnestone Park Garden near Canterbury in the late 18th century, early 19th century, in fact she started her first novel, Pride & Prejudice, immediately after staying here in 1796.
  • Reading Abbey Gateway was the school room for a young Jane Austen in 1785/6, it is now open to visitors as part of a Reading Abbey Quarter tour.   

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