Astoft

 

Chawton,  Hampshire  -  Chawton House
16th century

Click on photos to enlarge.



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Chawton House built c.1583-91 by the Knight family, but there have been many changes and subsequent restorations since. The west side containing the entrance porch is original and is built of flint rubble and stone blocks. The south front of c.1630 is of brick and has three gables. In the 18th century the house was covered in white stucco and many of the stone mullioned windows were replaced with timber sash windows. That is how Jane Austen would have known it when it was owned by her brother Edward Austen Knight. In the 19th century, the stucco was removed and the principal windows returned to stone casements.


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A terrace was built at the east end in the early 1900s. The architect Edwin Lutyens is believed to have been involved in its design along with some fireplaces and ceilings.


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Views of the north side of the house, the inner courtyard, and detail from the west side. This shows the surviving mixture of timber sash windows and stone mullioned casements.

The house has been beautifully renovated inside to a generally Elizabethan appearance with much wood panelling.


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The stables opposite the church on the drive, of about 1591. Of flint, with two stories and two projecting wings. Now a residence. 


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The setting of the house at the end of the drive running past the church

The house is now home to the Centre for the Study of Early English Women’s Writing (1600-1830) with a unique collection of rare books, established by Sandy Lerner. More about this at the Chawton House website which also contains a much more detailed history of the house and its owners. (Note that there is no general access to the house and grounds for the public. Special arrangements can be made for group visits, see their website for further information.) 

 

Map

Jane Austen Places - including Chawton Cottage, her final home, and with links to many websites on Jane Austen

 
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