Coordinates: 51°07′58″N 0°59′19″W / 51.13271°N 0.98873°W / 51.13271; -0.98873

Jane Austen's House
Chawton is located in Hampshire

 Chawton shown within Hampshire
Population 380 (2000)
OS grid reference SU710373
Parish Chawton
District East Hampshire
Shire county Hampshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ALTON
Postcode district GU34
Dialling code 01420
Police Hampshire
Fire Hampshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament East Hampshire
List of places: UK • England • Hampshire

Chawton is a village and civil parish in the East Hampshire district of Hampshire, England. It is 1.6 miles (2.5 km) southwest of Alton, just south of the A31 which runs between Farnham and Winchester. The village is famous as the home of Jane Austen for the last eight years of her life. The village lies within the South Downs National Park.[1]

The nearest railway station is 1.7 miles (2.7 km) northeast of the village, at Alton.

In 2000, Chawton had a population of around 380. It is within the census area of Downland which has 2,149 people.[2]



Village history

Chawton's recorded history begins in the Domesday survey of 1086. In the 13th century, there was a royal manor house. The owner, John St John, served as deputy to Edward I in Scotland. Henry III visited the manor on over forty occasions. The descendants of John Knight, who built the present Chawton House at the time of the Armada (1588), added to it and modified the landscape in ways that reflect changes in politics, religion and taste. One of those descendants was Elizabeth Knight, whose progresses were marked by the ringing of church bells and whose two husbands both had to adopt her surname. Later in the 18th century, Jane Austen's brother Edward (who had been adopted by the Knights) succeeded, and in 1809 was able to move his mother and sisters to a cottage in the village.

Jane Austen

Inscription on Jane Austen's House

The house in which Jane Austen lived – "Chawton Cottage" – is now Jane Austen's House Museum and is visited by 30,000[3] people each year.[4]

Jane Austen lived in the house with her mother and sister, Cassandra, from 1809 until May 1817, when because of illness she moved to Winchester to be near her physician. She died there on 18 July 1817.

Austen wrote many of her books in Chawton. Among the items of furniture are a Clementi pianoforte (about 1810) and a Hepplewhite bureau-bookcase containing several of her works.[5]

By the start of the twentieth century the house was tenanted by a workmen's club.[6]

Visitor attractions

Chawton Cottage

"Chawton Cottage", Jane Austen's house and garden are open to the public.

Chawton House

Chawton House, the 400 year old grade ll* listed Elizabethan manor house that once belonged to Jane Austen's brother and 275 acres (1.11 km2) of land, has been restored as part of a major international project to establish the new Centre for the Study of Early English Women's Writing, 1600–1830. It houses a collection of over 9,000 volumes, together with some related manuscripts. Visitors can see the relationship between the library, the house, the estate and a working farm of the 18th and early 19th centuries.[7]

In 1992 a 125-year lease on the house was purchased for £1.25 million by a foundation established by Sandra Lerner, co-founder of Cisco Systems.[8]


Chawton C of E Primary School is the only school in Chawton.[9] Strung along the minor road (Winchester Road) that runs through Chawton there is The Greyfriar pub, Cassandra's Cup (a tea shop), however usually there are no retail stores. Adjacent to Gosport Road lies a green containing a cricket pitch and the home of Chawton Cricket Club[10], a newly refurbished playground and a set of allotments.


  1. ^
  2. ^ UK Census data
  3. ^ Chawton Heritage website
  4. ^ Chawton House Library
  5. ^ Wyatt, Sue (ed.) (1997), The Hidden Places of Dorset, Hampshire & the Isle of Wight, Altrincham, Cheshire: M & M Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-871815-42-8 .
  6. ^ Home, Gordon (1908), What to see in England: a guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty, or literary association, London: Adam & Charles Black .
  7. ^ Chawton House Library
  8. ^ "A WRITER AT LARGE: Sandy Lerner's Persuasion". [dead link]
  9. ^ Primary School website
  10. ^

External links

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