In 1817, suffering from a kidney disorder, Jane Austen came to Winchester to be close to her physician. Jane only lived a few weeks in the house in College Street but continued to write - pencilling the short poem Winchester at the Races to honour St Swithun.
She died - only 41 years old - on 18 July 1817 and was laid to rest in the ‘long old solemnly grey and lovely shape of the cathedral’. As a woman, the heartbroken Cassandra was not able to attend the funeral, despite losing a sister she described as ‘the sun of my life’.
The original memorial stone over Jane’s tomb makes no reference to her literary achievements, so a brass plaque was added in 1872 to redress this. In 1900 a stained glass memorial window, funded by public subscription, was erected in her memory. The library in the cathedral occasionally showcases a silhouette of Jane Austen with the unauthenticated inscription, ‘Jane Austin [sic] by herself’.