Chawton House Library

Chawton House Library

Charity information

Chawton House Library

Set among the rural beauty of the South Downs National Park, Chawton House Library encompasses a historic house, estate and restored gardens, and a unique collection of women's writing, open to all.

Founded 2003

  • Mission statement

    Chawton House Library is a registered charity set in the stunningly restored Jacobean manor house once belonging to Jane Austen's brother. Encompassing a unique collection of books focussing on women’s writing in English from 1600 to 1830, this specialist collection provides the perfect environment for research and study, in a manner that brings to life the economic, cultural and historical contexts in which early English women writers lived and worked.

    The Library's educational focus covers a number of different - yet interconnected - areas. Firstly, it aims to educate diverse audiences on early English women writers and their relevance today, whilst promoting and preserving the book collection. It also aims to preserve and maintain Chawton House and estate as part of the nation’s heritage, and further its messages about conservation and agriculture. This estate it runs as a self-sufficient estate along 18th-century principles, for educational purposes.

    Open to readers and visitors for much of the year, the Library is a unique charity with a special place in local and literary history.

  • Aims

    Chawton House Library aims to:

    • To preserve its collections of texts, art and furniture, as well as the Jacobean house in which these are held, and the estate surrounding this.
    • To educate the widest possible variety of audiences with regards to its collection of works by early female authors, as well as providing education on heritage, conservation and agricultural history.
    • To promote its collections, activities and mission to enable all strands of its activities to grow and be maintained for future generations.
  • Overview

    Established: September 2003

    Registered Charity Number: 1026921

    Full time staff: 19

    Volunteers: 90

    Phone number: 01420 541010

    Address: Chawton House Library Chawton Alton Hampshire GU34 1SJ

    View charity accounts on the Charity Commission website