Two hundred years ago Jane Austen left her house in Chawton for Winchester for medical treatment, where she died in July 1817.
This is the house where Jane Austen lived from 1809 to 1817. Here, she revised her earlier novels Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and saw them published. She wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion and began her last and uncompleted novel, Sanditon.
She shared the house with her mother, her beloved sister Cassandra and their friend Martha Lloyd and they were frequently visited by the Austen brothers and their large families.
Our visit started in the gardens. The original garden at the house was several acres, but today we enjoyed a smaller, country-cottage style flowerbeds and lawn.
The Austens employed a cook at Chawton. Cassandra and Martha Lloyd mainly took responsibility for housekeeping.
This is the Drawing Room, where Jane would often practise the piano in the mornings before breakfast!
^ This desk / bookcase belonged to Jane Austen’s father, Reverend George Austen.
In the Vestibule, we found some of the original Wedgwood dinner service…
And Jane Austen’s writing table! It’s tiny. And beautiful.
Upstairs is the Admirals’ Room. dedicated to Jane’s seafaring brothers Francis and Charles, although it had been two small rooms originally.
Jane Austen’s ring! (In 2012 it was in the news after singer Kelly Clarkson bought it.) Thankfully it’s here for all to see.
This quilt was made by Jane, sister Cassandra and their mother. It is beautiful, and large. There are over 3000 diamond patches in total, all lovingly hand stitched together. On 31st May 1811, Jane wrote to her sister, ‘Have you remembered to collect peices [sic] for the patchwork – we are at a standstill.’
Another lovely picture-window.
With very attractive house neighbours to the side…
Or should I say: neeiiiighbours!
You must go and see Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton (only half an hour away from Guildford, towards Winchester) for yourself. It’s an absolute must see this summer!