The Curtis Museum
Alton, East Hampshire
The thriving market town of Alton offers a delightful mix of historic buildings and modern shops and arcades. It is well known for its regular Tuesday market day as well as other markets and fairs.
History of Alton
The Curtis Museum has one of the finest local history collections in Hampshire. It houses a wonderful array of objects including the celebrated Roman cup found near Selborne and an impressive Anglo Saxon buckle. Its childhood gallery is packed with toys, children's books and dolls dating back to the 18th century.
The 11th Century St Lawrence Church was part of the Battle of Alton, a skirmish in the civil war. Royalists were surprised by a Parliamentary force and were beaten back to the church where they set up defences. They were eventually defeated and the commanding officer and some of his men were shot in the church and pulpit. Look carefully and you can still see some bullet holes in the west doors.
The village of Chawton, famously the home of Jane Austen, is nearby and you can follow a circular walk from Chawton to Upper Faringdon past places of interest that Jane Austen knew. The Watercress Line steam railway goes from Alton, trundling through pleasant countyside through the village of Ropley and on to Alresford.
Out and About
Nearby in sleepy Selborne you can walk up the famous zig-zag pathway, enjoy the views and explore the hangers, or visit Gilbert White's House & The Oates Collection in the village. This hidden gem was home to naturalist Gilbert White, author of `The Natural History of Selborne' and boasts a wonderful 20 acre garden.
From 1809 until 1817 Jane Austen lived in Chawton village near Alton with her mother, her sister Cassandra and their friend Martha Lloyd. Restored to the rural Hampshire she loved, Jane turned again to writing...
Let the train take the strain as you sit back, relax and travel through the heart of the English countryside. Whether you are taking a trip down memory lane or creating new ones, it’s the perfect way to unwind...