In the autumn of 2006 my family was planning a trip to England. Or rather, I planned a trip to England. I had come to the conclusion that I really, really wanted to visit Jane Austen’s House, Chawton Cottage, and so convinced the rest of my family that it was absolutely necessary for us to go for a week long trip to the country where the greatest author in history lived.
We drove down from London to Hampshire, until we saw this sign!
The for a lot of Janeites well known house soon came into view. Chawton Cottage (or the Jane Austen House Museum) where Jane lived for the last eight years of her life and where, as far as we know, she was very happy!
Here we are; Chawton Cottage!
Unfortunately you were not allowed to take any pictures inside the house, otherwise I would have! It was an amazing experience for me to be there! To be at the very place where Jane lived, where she wrote most of her work, to see the table at which she sat and worked, where all her six novels were either written or edited! I think that was perhaps the most special thing to see!
As I said you couldn’t take any photos, but I found this one on the internet and thought I’d add it here.
Jane's writing desk!
We spent several hours at the museum, looking at everything in great detail. And before we left we had to visit the gift shop, which we enjoyed browsing for quite some time! Admiring everything they have (so many books that I should like to get some day!) and talking to the lady who worked there.
Then we slowly made our way into the garden. We were there in November, so not a lot of flowers at that time. And there you were allowed to take photos! =)
The Austen's, at the moment very flower-less, garden
Me outside the house
My whole family outside the house
As the museum closed we made our way to the nearby town of Winchester, where the next important place on my list was. It is there, in Winchester Cathedral, that Jane Austen is buried. The cathedral is supposed to be a most lovely one, but I am afraid we didn’t see any other than the most important part of it (Jane’ grave, if you hadn’t guessed) as it was getting pretty late and we were all slightly worn and tired by this time. But we saw what we had come there to see. And it was a very special thing for me to experience!
Once again my own photos fail me and I am bound to rely on the internet to illustrate this.
And as we exited the cathedral there was just one more stop left on our list for that day; the house where Jane Austen died. The house is not at all far from the cathedral. It is not possible to go inside to visit it as it is privately owned. Jane lived here for the last few days of her life. She had come in to Winchester in order so that she could be close to a doctor, but unfortunately that didn’t make much of a difference.
A not so good picture of me outside the house where Jane died (but the only one I had)
This is so sad!
It was a most lovely day and I should very much like to go back again for another visit (not least because of the gift store with all those books! 😉 )!
This is a link to Jane Austen’s House Museum’s website for those who are interested: HERE