Follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen

Jane Austen was born in North Hampshire and spent the final few weeks of her life in Winchester. In accordance with family wishes her remains were buried in Winchester Cathedral.

200 years ago Jane wrote her first successful novel, Sense and Sensibility. To celebrate one of England’s great authors this summer why not follow in her footsteps and take a tour of the areas that inspired her famous novels and poems.

The Jane Austen Trail plots the author’s life in Hampshire chronologically and includes highlights such as Chawton House, her family home from 1809 until 1817. Jane composed many of her most well known works at Chawton House including Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion. The house is now a touching museum of her life including the most extensive collection of memorabilia relating to the Austen family.

Austen fans will also want to visit the City Museum in Winchester for the chance to see a hand written poem entitled, I’ve a pain in my head. The poem is thought to have been composed around 1811.

During her final weeks Jane lived on College Street, Winchester. This residence is now a private house and although guests cannot enter, the building is marked with a commemorative blue plaque.

The trail also takes visitors to Jane’s final resting place, the nave of Winchester Cathedral. Jane spent her final weeks in Winchester and wrote the poem When Winchester Races just two days before her death.

Visitors to the Cathedral can see the original memorial stone over Jane’s tomb which makes no reference to her literary achievements. A brass plaque was added to the Cathedral in 1872 to redress this. In 1900 a stained glass memorial window, funded by public subscription, was erected in her memory.

Winchester’s official tourist guides provide walking tours of Jane Austen’s Winchester and Cathedral tours are also available. For more information please see www.visitwinchester.co.uk or contact Winchester Tourist Information Centre on 01962 840 500 or email tourism@winchester.gov.uk

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