Jane Austen’s House Museum
Jane Austen spent the last nine years of her life in the former bailiff’s house across the road from The Greyfriar. Now a museum ‘Jane Austen’s House’ (https://www.jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk/) as it is known locally has been returned to how it would have been when she lived in Chawton and is open from March to December.
Mentioned in Jane Austen’s letters as the ‘Great House’ Chawton House (https://chawtonhouse.org/) was the seat of the Knight family and was owned by Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight during the period she lived in Chawton. The house is home to a library of female literary works and the library, house and gardens are open to the public from 20 March to 27 October, including Sundays and bank holidays. Austen’s mother and sister Cassandra are buried at the church in the grounds.
Chawton is within the South Downs National Park and there are numerous walks to suit all ages and capabilities across the beautiful surrounding countryside. We are close to the villages of Selbourne and Farringdon and Chawton is a popular starting point for ramblers.
The Watercress Line
Chawton is 800 yards from the running line of Hampshire’s premier preserved steam railway. The Mid Hants Railway, (https://www.watercressline.co.uk/) to give it its official name, is mainline connected at Alton, and has stations at Medstead & Four Marks, Ropley and Arlesford. The 10-mile line is steeply graded and requires powerful six coupled locomotives to work the trains. Trains run every weekend except November and January and weekday services operate during holiday periods.