What to See in England
By Gordon Home

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Public Domain Books

Chawton the Home of Jane Austen

=How to get there.=–Train from Waterloo. L. and S.W. Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Alton (1 mile from Chawton). =Distance from London.=–46-1/2 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 1-3/4 to 2 hours.

                     1st      2nd      3rd
=Fares.=–Single   7s. 9d.  5s. 0d.  3s. 10-1/2d.
          Return  13s. 6d.  8s. 8d.  7s.  9d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–At Alton–"Swan Hotel,” “Crown Hotel,” etc.

Situated about a mile from Alton Station, on the main line of the South-Western Railway, is the little village of Chawton, the residence of Jane Austen at the time when she was producing her best literary work. A walk along the main Winchester road brings one to the charming old-world place, and, keeping on past the thatched cottages of the village, one reaches a small brick house on the right-hand side, near a pond, just before the road divides for Winchester and Gosport. This building, which is now tenanted by a workman’s club, was Chawton Cottage, where Jane Austen spent some of the brightest days of her life, and wrote her most successful novels, books which are more highly appreciated at the present day than they were during the lifetime of the authoress.

Her father was rector of Steventon, another Hampshire village, at which place his daughter was born in 1775, and where her early days were spent. Jane Austen’s novels are remarkable for the truthfulness and charm with which they reproduce the everyday life of the upper middle classes in England in her time, and for delicate and yet distinct insight into every variety of the human character. Miss Austen’s first four novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma, were published anonymously.

A short distance along the Gosport road is Chawton Park, a remarkably fine Elizabethan mansion, occupied in Miss Austen’s time by Edward Knight, the lord of the manor. This country seat, which is not accessible to visitors, was most probably the original of Mansfield Park, and in the little church close by are several monuments to the Knight family. Miss Austen died at Winchester on July 24, 1817, and is buried in the cathedral. The brass to her memory is in the north aisle.

Within easy walking distance is Gilbert White’s home at Selborne, which is treated under a separate heading (p. 70).


Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Northanger Abbeywere revised and partly rewritten here; and Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion were entirely produced at the cottage.]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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