Sunday 17 January 2010

Going to Alton with Jane.

An 18th century building in Alton.
The door to Henry's bank.

A plaque showing that this building was the site of Henry Austen's bank.

The main door to The Swan Inn.

Perhap Jane visited the bakers. It is now a pub but it's origins are in it's name.

Looking down the high street.

The north end of the High Street. The raised pavement shows the affluence of Alton. Raised pavements allowed finely dressed ladies to keep their long dresses free of the mud and mire of the road.They were expensive things to build. Only a wealthy market town could afford to build raised pavements. This pavement is in front of Henry's bank.

The Swan Inn. This was the main coaching inn in the town . Here coaches from London would stop. Jane may have used it's services.

Alton High Street two years ago in July.

A beautiful 18th century door. Perhaps Jane knocked on it to visit a friend.

The main church in Alton. Jane probably visited this church.

Jane's donkey carriage which she would ride in along Hampshire lanes.

Chawton, where Jane lived for the last ten years of her life, is two miles from the county town of Alton in Hampshire. Jane had many connections with Alton. She would walk there or ride in her donkey carriage to go shopping and visit family and friends. Her brother Henry opened a branch of his bank in Alton.
Writing to Caroline Austen, her niece and James's daughter, on Thursday 23rd January 1817, nearly two hundred years ago, she writes,
"I feel myself getting stronger than I was half a year ago, & can so perfectly well walk to Alton, or back again, without the slightest fatigue that I hope to be able to do both when the Summer comes."
Some of these places Jane would have known. There are many buildings surviving from her days.

1 comment:

  1. This is all really great to see, thank you! Visited on Julie's recommendation from Austen Only. Great blog.