Jane Austen in Winchester map
Winchester, cathedral city and Saxon capital of England, is where Jane Austen died - just as she was becoming successful and famous. She was buried inside the cathedral, most likely because she was a daughter of a clergyman. There are plenty of places to stay overnight or simply take refreshment in this bustling but pleasant city. Winchester College is a boys’ school where some of Jane’s nephews were pupils.
Motorists are strongly advised to use the park and ride service into the city centre.
The house in College Street where Jane died. It can be identified by the plaque over the front door.
Jane had completed Persuasion and was starting to write a new novel called Sanditon when she became seriously ill. After a few weeks of fever and increasing weakness at home in Chawton, she agreed to be moved to Winchester, 16 miles away, to be under the care of Dr Lyford who was attached to the hospital there. In May 1817, brother Henry escorted Jane and her sister Cassandra to stay in lodgings at 8 College Street, near the cathedral. Jane’s illness was incurable, however, and she died on 18 July.
Two days later Cassandra wrote to her niece Fanny Knight that Jane’s funeral was to be held in Winchester Cathedral, “a building she admired so much”. Brothers Edward, Henry and Frank saw their sister buried under the north aisle of the nave, while Cassandra watched the procession from the College Street house (it was not thenusual for females to attend funerals).
The inscription on her gravestone describes Jane’s personal qualities but makes no mention of her achievements as a novelist , even though she had become so successful that the Prince Regent had asked her to dedicate a book to him.
To redress this omission, a memorial window was later erected together with a brass plaque celebrating her writings. There are some displayboards near the grave which outline her life and work.
The house where Jane died is privately owned, but can be seen by walking for a few minutes from the cathedral, following the signposts for College. It is on the right of College Street, opposite a small green.
Winchester Cathedral (above) and (right) part of the gravestone in the floor which marks Jane’s burial. It is thought she was buried in this prestigious building because she was the daughter of a clergyman rather than for her own achievements. The inscription, while naming her father, makes no mention of her own career as a novelist.