Discover the ‘Great House’ referred to in Jane Austen’s letters, now sensitively restored, relax in the peace and tranquillity of the gardens, and find inspiration in the lives and works of our women writers.
Whether you are inspired by women’s literature, keen to follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen in Hampshire, looking to explore the gardens, or simply to enjoy lunch in the tearoom, friendly staff and volunteers will give you a warm welcome.
With over four hundred years of history, Chawton House is a fascinating blend of architectural styles and features. Among the many owners to have made their mark is Jane Austen's brother, who was adopted in the 18th Century by the childless Thomas and Catherine Knight who succeeded as Edward Austen-Knight in 1797. In 1809, he offered a house in Chawton village to his mother and two sisters, Cassandra and Jane, and it was there, now the Jane Austen's House Museum, where Jane began the most prolific period of her writing life.
The estate remained in the Knight family until the 1990s when it was sold on a long lease to the newly-formed charity Chawton House Library, so that it could be fully and meticulously restored. A unique organisation, the charity has a rare collection of women's writing from 1600-1830 and offers readers the chance to experience these text in the inspiring setting of Chawton House, which brings their context to life and features paintings of some of the authors. As well as promoting women's writing, the charity preserves the house and manages the estate using traditional farming methods.
Please note that wheelchair access is to the ground floor only which includes the Great Hall and ground floor of the library.
It is now easier than ever to visit Chawton House by public transport with an easy to follow walking guide from a nearby bus stop. The number 64 Stagecoach service runs daily between Alton train station and Winchester, while the number 38 service from Petersfield to Alton offers a less frequent alternative option stopping in Chawton Village.
|Open (5 Mar 2019 - 7 Dec 2019)|
|Monday - Friday||12:30||- 16:30|
|Saturday - Sunday||11:00||- 16:30|
|Bank Holiday||11:00||- 16:30|
* Last entry is half and hour before closing
Map & Directions
Click to Activate
From M25 Junction 10, A3 Guildford bypass, A31 Farnham & Alton bypass. Turn off left at A31/32 junction roundabout to Chawton and follow the brown tourist signs. From M25 Junction 12, M3 to Junction 5, B3349 to Odiham and Alton, follow signs for Chawton.
There is a limited amount of parking available at the house for cars and small minibuses. Please be aware that it is not possible to accommodate large coaches as the drive to the house is unsuitable for such vehicles. Groups can be dropped off in the lane at the top of the drive to Chawton House and a coach can be parked at the top of the drive in front of the barrier.
There is also coach parking in the nearby town of Alton.
Public Transport Directions
By Train: From London Waterloo, there are hourly trains to Alton. There is a taxi rank outside of the train station.
By Bus: The number 64 Stagecoach service runs daily between Alton train station and Winchester, stopping at the A31/32 junction roundabout near Chawton. The number 38 service from Petersfield to Alton offers a less frequent alternative option, stopping in Chawton.
On the 1st Sunday of each month between May and October inclusively the Medstead Depot Omnibus Group run a free bus service between Alton station and Chawton, stopping outside Jane Austen’s House Museum. These vintage buses are part of the Working Omnibus Museum Project charity. The service is funded by the owners of the buses and is open to anyone wishing to travel without any need for a rail ticket or any other form of payment.