Friday, 9 August 2019

Up and Down the Downs

This walk was from just past Kingsclere, towards White Hill, up to the ridge, along the gallops, then back down towards Echinswell and looping back to the car.

View of White Hill from near the start of the walk

View from the top of White Hill looking towards the Hannington transmission tower

Looking down towards the start point which is at the end of the line of trees in the centre from the left.

View along the gallops towards Watership Down

Trying to spot Billie the Honda Jazz (end of the tree line in the centre of this photograph)

View towards the Iron Age hill for Ladle Hill and Watership Down

Old dead tree on the road down towards Echinswell

Another casualty

And one more fallen tree

White Hill Gallops - a warm-up walk

Parked Billie the Jazz in a lay-by on White Hill Road B3051 and walked up the hill to the gallops that form part of the Sydmonton Estate, currently owned by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Walked to the top of of the gallops to the plaque for Richard Adams.

It was a beautiful evening and the view was fabulous

Walked back to the car again and headed home happy to have managed a decent uphill walk.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Back to Chawton ...

Sunday and back to Chawton to visit an antique/vintage/craft/gift fair - I didn't buy much there except a couple of postcards of Lowestoft and Oulton Broad to send to my cousin Crispin who lives there and is very interested in the local history.

Onwards then to Chawton House, the former home of Edward (Austen) Knight, the brother of Jane Austen. 

St Nichola's Church in the grounds of Chawton House

Magnificent driveway up to the main house

Front of the house - Jane's favourite spot is the window above the main door

Fire place in The Great Room

Witches marks by the fireplace

Note found in a champagne bottle buried under the floor of the Great Room by Montagu G Knight

The Dining Room

Loved this spot looking over the grounds

Jane's favourite spot overlooking the driveway.

Which allowed her to see all the comings and goings of the estate

View from Oak Room across the estate including the ha-ha (sunken fence designed to contain livestock but not spoil views)

Fireplace in the Oak Room

The Writing Room

Long Gallery at the back of the house

Some of the stained glass windows showing the ownership of the house through time

Tea room in the old kitchen

Where an enormous slice of coffee & walnut cake was indulged in

Edward (Austen) Knight's suit, possibly the one he wore to be introduced to the Knight family before they 'adopted' him as their heir

Mary Pennington (Aged 10), 1830

Exquisite over one stitching

Fabulous stag motif

Cat complete with long stitch whiskers

Fanny Kemble, Georgian author and activist, she wrote an anti-slavery piece following a visit to her ex-husband's American plantation

Copy of Frances Burney's Camilla - subscribed to by Miss J Austen, Steventon

Jane's subscription to Camilla

First edition of Northanger Abbey & Persuasion

Lychgate to St. Nicholas church

Statue of Jane in the church grounds

Graves of Cassandra (Jane's mother) and Cassandra Elizabeth (Jane's sister)

Saturday, 27 July 2019

The Jane Austen House Museum

The front of the house at Chawton, Alton, Hampshire.

Side view of the house, the later view of the gardens was taken from the upper right window.

Jane's writing table. Sadly only the top is original and it is hard to picture how small this table was.

The library at the museum is full of many copies of her works and many translations - i spotted Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and many others.

From the memoirs of Jane Austen by her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh - this passage was in the bedroom she shared with her sister Cassandra and describes her poor health on one of her last days at the house.

Sampler possibly stitched by her sister Cassandra or another close relative

Cassandra's hand embroidered handkerchief

Jane's hand embroidered muslin shawl

Close up of the stitchwork, showing where two panels of muslin were joined together by a decorative band. 

Replica of one of pelisse worn by Jane, made using a specially commissioned silk with an oak leaf pattern.

Tiny sewing box with threads on bobbins inside.

Satin shoes and lace gloves belonging to Jane's niece, Marianne Knight

The Admiral's Quilt  - part of the bicentenary commemorations of Jane's death in 1817. Hand stitched by 100 people using the English paper-piecing method in Alton and Winchester and finished in January 2018.

The Austen family quilt, worked on by Jane, her sister Cassandra and their mother.

Close up on the beautiful hand stitched quilt that contains over 3000 diamonds and over 60 different fabrics.


Reticules - often taken to balls and dances to carry small items in as the dresses of the time had no pockets.

View over the gardens of the house.

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