Chawton Cottage ~ Discover Jane Austen
During our recent trip to London, we had the opportunity to visit Jane Austen’s home Chawton Cottage. It was an unexpected thrill. My husband Tom, was a good sport and went along without complaint. We spent the day with new friends who live in Southampton. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, but didn’t realize her home, now a museum, was so close to London. After a wonderful lunch with Margaret, Joanne and Polly (three generations of lovely British women), we set out to discover a bit of Jane’s life.
Jane spent the last eight years of her life here. From 1809 until her death in 1817.
The bedroom Jane shared with her sister Cassandra. The tent bed is a recreation of the beds Reverend Austen had made for his daughters in 1794. In Jane’s time, there would have been two beds in the room.
The Dining Parlour. Not only did Jane, Cassandra and their mother eat in this room, Jane spent her mornings here writing and revising her stories.
She wrote at this little 12-sided walnut table near the window.
The Admiral’s Room. Two of Jane’s brothers, Francis and Charles, were sailors. This room contains memorabilia from their years in the Navy. Francis took this cabin bed with him on all his voyages. Isn’t it amazing that sailors had to bring their own beds?
The bakehouse as seen from the kitchen window.
I love this part of the property-the Bakehouse. Besides baking, other activities would have included washing clothes and salting pigs. I’m a romantic, but I would have hated to be the one to heat up the water and wash clothes by hand.
I get goose bumps every time I think about walking down the same stairs as Jane Austen! Really, truly stepping into history.
Chawton Cottage was opened as a museum in 1949. This centenary plaque was installed in 1917, a hundred years after her death. This is an important destination for every Jane Austen fan.
Where have you traveled that inspired you?