In response to some recent media confusion between Jane Austen’s House and a private property, Director Mary Guyatt explains why Jane Austen’s House will never be up for sale:
Living in the days of the stagecoach, Jane Austen was able to travel quite a bit, staying with friends and relatives in other counties and taking holidays by the sea. There are therefore various towns and cities, houses, churches, pubs and hotels which today celebrate their association with Jane Austen, and many tour companies and gazetteers which help us to follow in Jane’s footsteps right across the South of England.
Jane Austen’s House Museum, here in Chawton, Hampshire, is the epicentre of Austen’s England however. The reason is because we're the house where Austen wrote and revised all her major works, living here from 1809 until just before her death in 1817. Jane Austen’s readers have been coming to see this house for 150 years, and in our time as a public museum, we have welcomed over one million visitors from all around the world.
While Jane Austen’s House is reliant on visitor admissions and fundraising for its upkeep, we are governed as a charity and have been run entirely for the public benefit for the past 70 years. While many properties have an association with Jane Austen, please be reassured that the only house sale that matters to us is the one which gave us the deeds for Jane Austen’s House back in 1948.
To find out more about the founding of the museum, visit our Making the Museum 70th anniversary exhibition, til 31 December.