Throughout 2019 we will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of Jane Austen's House Museum opening to the public!
Check in with us here to find out the latest about our upcoming events.

2019 Displays

1 February - 31 December

Making the Museum

Jane Austen’s House Museum first opened to the public 70 years ago, on 23 July 1949. Since then it has welcomed over a million visitors and has become one of the most important and best-loved literary sites in the world.


The story of the Museum began in the 1940s when the newly-founded Jane Austen Society ran a fundraising campaign to save the house, which had fallen into disrepair. This caught the attention of Mr T Edward Carpenter, a London lawyer, who went on to buy the house for the nation in memory of his son who had been killed in action in WWII. He established the Jane Austen Memorial Trust to run the house as a museum.


This display of objects and stories throughout the house reveals how generations of devotees have gone about making the Museum the special place you see today. Learn the story of the Museum itself – from the first objects on display and the building of the collection, to the ways in which the house has been repaired, preserved and displayed over the last 70 years. 

20 August - 31 December

Letter from Jane Austen to Anna Lefroy, 1814

Jane Austen’s House Museum has recently saved a precious section of a letter by Jane Austen after an outpouring of generosity from the public. As promised by the Museum at the start of the public fundraising campaign, the letter will now be on display for the rest of the year.

The letter itself was written by Jane to her niece Anna in November 1814, during the time she lived at the cottage in Chawton (now Jane Austen’s House Museum). 


Thanks to the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Stephen James Charitable Trust, the Walter Guinness Charitable Trust and over 250 individual members of the public, the Museum successfully raised the negotiated purchase price and acquired the letter in August. 

Visitors to the Museum can take a first look at the letter as it joins the current exhibition Making the Museum.

September - December

New Historic Replica Wallpaper in the Dining Parlour

New vibrant green, leaf-patterned replica wallpaper has transformed the Dining Parlour - where Jane Austen’s writing table holds pride of place. 

Created by specialists in historic and reproduction wallpapers, Hamilton Weston Wallpapers, the design is based on a wallpaper fragment found inside a cupboard in the Dining Parlour and can be dated to the period when the Austens were living at the cottage.
From 16 - 19 September, Museum visitors were able to observe the room’s transformation as the wallpaper was being installed and can now experience the fully finished result, thanks to generous support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund Collecting Cultures scheme and the Jane Austen Society of North America (Washington, DC, Metropolitan Region).


Christmas at Jane Austen's House Museum

‘This is quite the season indeed for friendly meetings. At Christmas everybody invites their friends about them’ – Emma

Celebrate Christmas at Jane Austen’s House Museum. Throughout December, the House will be decorated for the festive season. Families young and old can enjoy drop-in making activities, and don’t forget to visit the gift shop for cards and gifts!

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2019 Events

Friday 22 November

CANCELLED: T Edward Carpenter Memorial Lecture: Ali Smith celebrates Jane Austen

7:00pm at Ondaatje Wing Theatre, National Portrait Gallery, London

Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions and NPG Supporters)

EVENT CANCELLED: it is with great regret that we announce this event has been cancelled, due to circumstances beyond our control. The NPG will be issuing refunds to all ticket holders. We are very sorry for any inconvience and dissapointment caused.

Novelist Ali Smith delivers the T. Edward Carpenter Lecture on Jane Austen. In partnership with National Portrait Gallery.


Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962 and lives in Cambridge. Her fiction has been translated into 40 languages. Her most recent novel is Spring (Hamish Hamilton 2019).

Please note: this event is at National Portrait Gallery in London, not at Jane Austen's House Museum.

From Saturday 23 November to Sunday 1 December

Free admission for National Lottery Ticket Holders to say #ThanksToYou

Museum opening hours

The generous support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund has helped Jane Austen’s House Museum a great deal over the years – something that wouldn’t be possible without the millions of people who purchase National Lottery tickets every week.


In support of the National Lottery’s #ThanksToYou campaign, we are offering Free Admission to any Museum visitors who bring in a valid National Lottery ticket for any draw dated between Saturday 23 November and Sunday 1 December of this year. Just bring in your ticket that week to redeem your offer at the till and enjoy a day out at Jane Austen’s House Museum. One ticket per free entry, please.*


A big #ThanksToYou for supporting us!


*Terms and conditions of the offer: Free entry for one day only when presented between Saturday 23 November and Sunday 1 December. Not valid for an annual pass. Please bring your physical ticket or proof of digital ticket with you. Mobile reception is patchy, so be sure to print, download or screen grab proof of any digital ticket. Date of draw must be legible and be between 23rd November and 1st December 2019.


All National Lottery games qualify for the offer - including tickets for any National Lottery draw-based game (Lotto, Euromillions, Set For Life, Thunderball, Lotto HotPicks and Euromillions Hotpicks) or any National Lottery Scratchcard purchased from 23rd November – 1st December 2019. Please bring receipt with date of purchase for any scratchcard.

Saturday 14 December

Meet the Lace-Makers

11:00am - 3:00pm

Included with Museum admission

'The lace on Mrs Thorpe’s pelisse was not half so handsome as her own.' - Northanger Abbey

Come and meet members of the Alresford Lacemaking Society as they demonstrate the art and craft of lacemaking. 

Monday 16 December

Celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday in Chawton

10:30am to 4:30pm

£7 for admission to both venues if booked in advance

Visit Jane Austen’s House Museum and Chawton House on 16th December, Jane Austen’s birthday.


In honour of the occasion, entry on the door will be half price all day at both locations – or free if it is your birthday. Book in advance for an even greater discount of just £7 for admission to both venues!

Jane Austen’s House Museum will be decorated for the season. There will be live music around the house and mulled wine on sale for our adult visitors to enjoy. Have a go at our festive family activities suitable for all ages and get in to the Christmas spirit!

A short walk away, Chawton House, or ‘The Great House’ as Jane knew it, will also be adorned with boughs of holly, there will be Regency choral music performances and plenty of birthday cake.

Book your tickets today and join us in Chawton for this very special birthday.

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Jane Austen's House Museum
An independent museum established in 1947
Chawton, Hampshire
GU34 1SD
Tel: 01420 83262


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Charity Number: 1156458   |  © 2014 Jane Austen's House Museum

*Tickets are valid for one year from date of purchase, excluding special event days. On your return

 please present your ticket along with a form of ID.