Chawton House Library on Window Wednesday this week.
Chawton village is, of course, dominated by its most famous resident Jane Austen. Her house sits in the middle of this pretty village in Hampshire and is a draw for hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The first time we went we had just decided on the spur of the moment to head there since it is only 45 minutes away. As we stood in the queue to buy our tickets we were behind an American lady who had “waited all my life to get here”. Wow. It was only then that it struck me what a house this really is, and how steeped it is in history.
I recently went back as one of my regular Wednesday meet ups with Annie and we toured the house again before heading up the road to another house with an Austen connection, Chawton House Library, the former home of Jane’s brother Edward. It sits on a hill (though there is evidence this wasn’t the original site of the house) and is quite the manor house. And the gardens that is sits in are stunning (more about them tomorrow and the lovely garden manager, Andrew and his wife Debbie).
So for Window Wednesday this week a selection of photos from the house, and the church next door. Edward and his mother are buried in the church yard, though Jane actually died in Winchester so is buried there.
If you find yourself near Chawton it really is worth a visit and do have a look at tomorrow’s blog post about the garden.
More info on the property can be found here: Chawton House Library
We hadn’t spotted the pic below when we were first asked by Andrew if we would like to see the cold store where meat was originally kept. We were taken by the stone floor and wooden benches and then he asked us to go to the end of the room, turn around and look up. A great way of knowing when meat had been killed so it could be eaten in date order (and of course no Sunday as everybody was at church).
There is evidence in house of when this mechanism for drawing water from the well was first purchased.
The cloud is a very convenient way of storing our own documents now but it did leave me wondering as I stared at this what the future generation will be left looking at.
I love kitchens in older properties. I have said before that I would definitely have been a “below stairs” person in a previous life. This is now a tea shop with amazing looking cakes!
The property is actually now used as a research institute focusing on women’s writing from the 1600 to 1830. What a site for fellows from academic institutes around the world to arrive for the first time.
There is a gate from the house to the church and it is easy to imagine the family walking down the grassy field on a Sunday. Or waking up to the sound of the bells.
And this final one just made me want to go home and grab all the jam jars and string to make my own!