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Announcing Chawton House’s autumn events programme!

Posted: 6th September 2019

Announcing Chawton House’s autumn events programme!

From late night gothic tours, to author talks, creative workshops and yoga in the Great Hall, there's plenty happening between now and Christmas at Chawton House.

Chawton House, Hampshire, September 2019.

Artist takeover: Mary Wollstonecraft at Versailles during the French Revolution

1 September to 29 November

2019 marks 230 years since the French Revolution, and 260 years since the birth of Mary Wollstonecraft, the 18th century philosopher and writer who was living in Paris during the Reign of Terror.

This exhibition is inspired by what she did, what she saw and what she wrote, whilst acting as a war correspondent for the English journal Analytical Review. The artworks use visual storytelling to creatively engage with her visit to Versailles, as she wanders through the empty palace and deserted gardens. 

Free with general admission

Yoga at Chawton House

Come and relax with a gentle yoga class in the beautiful and tranquil setting of Chawton House. For the first time ever, the Great Hall will be open for special morning yoga sessions before the house opens to the public.

The first course will run for 5 weeks from Thursday 26 September at 9:30-10:30am.

The classes are bookable as a block of 5 for £50.00.

Special Display: Sanditon

11 - 13 October 2019

The final episode of ITV’s new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sanditon will air on 13 October. Visit Chawton House on the same weekend and view the most special item in our collection: a manuscript written in Jane Austen’s hand. The Grandison manuscript is extremely precious and is rarely displayed so don’t miss the opportunity to see Jane’s writing up close!

Included with general admission

As the days draw in, why not start a new hobby or hone a skill with these creative workshops.

Rebel women writers workshop

Sunday 29 September

A feminist creative writing workshop led by writer, Chris Aziz and Shelley Trust founder and activist, Katherine Edgar.  Inspired by the rebellious spirit of Mary Wollstonecraft, philosopher, educator and author of the ground-breaking  A Vindication for the Rights of Women.

As part of the Writing Women’s Rights Programme, celebrate rebel women like Mary with words that fire resistance, insight and courage. Ignite your unique creative power. 

£20 per person

Modern calligraphy

Saturday 21 Sept, 10:30am-2:30pm (dip)

Thursday 24 Oct, 10:30am-2:30pm (brush)

Saturday 23 Nov, 10:30am-2:30pm (dip)

In this intimate workshop you will learn the basic strokes, practice writing the alphabet and joining up letters to make full words and flourishes

£65 Dip pen/£60 Brush pen (includes refreshments & materials)

Creative writing

Saturday 7 Sept, 10:00am-2:30pm

Saturday 5 Oct, 10:00am-2:30pm

Everyone has a story to tell! You may be a complete beginner, or a more experienced writer in need of inspiration. A series of exercises will help you develop ideas into words.

£45 (includes light lunch)


Tuesday 10 Sept, 10:00am-2:30pm

Wednesday 23 Oct, 10:00am-2:30pm

Monday 4 Nov, 10:00am-2:30pm

In-house photographer Claire Lewis will guide you to take your photography to the next level. Don’t worry about what type of camera you have, its all about enjoying the craft of capturing images.

£45 (includes light lunch)

“Giving Voice to the Ancestors” 

Saturday 16 November, 2-4pm

This creative writing workshop explores the composition of dramatic monologues for characters from history including local, family and personal history. It will feature drama improvisation exercises, designed to increase creativity, confidence in communicating and understanding of character and narrative. Participants will also experiment with writing exercises related to the improvisations. 

Uncover the legacy of women writers with these fascinating talks from successful writers.

Director’s Tour: Jane Austen’s Reading

Friday 11 Oct, 2-3pm

To celebrate Libraries Week, join Chawton House Chief Executive, Katie Childs, on a tour of the 2019 exhibition Jane Austen’s Reading. Discover why time spent in the Godmersham Park library was vital to Jane Austen’s inspiration and development as a writer.

£12/£10 Friends

'Satire, Celebrity and Politics in Jane Austen'

Sunday 13 October, 2-4.30pm

In her latest book on Jane Austen, Professor Jocelyn Harris argues that she was “a satirist, a celebrity watcher, and a keen political observer”.

£15/£12 Friends (includes refreshments)

Talk: Bee Rowlatt – In The Footsteps of Mary Wollstonecraft 

Thursday 17 October, 6.30-8pm

Author Bee Rowlatt will share her journey exploring Wollstonecraft’s extraordinary legacy, and the disturbing truth behind her erasure from history. Find out why we owe so much to this pioneering woman, and how her legacy is being celebrated at last.

£12/£10 Friends (includes refreshments)

Elizabeth Knight: A Woman to be Reckoned With

Tuesday 22 October, 6.30-8pm

Elizabeth Knight: the only female squire to have presided over Chawton refused to relinquish control in an age when wives had no legal identity of their own. Wealthy, powerful and very much in the mould of Jane Austen’s great landowning female characters like Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mrs Ferrars, Knight made sure that she was in charge of her land, refusing to hand over control to either of her husbands in an age when wives had no legal or economic identity of their own. 

£12, Friends: £10 (includes refreshments)

Louie Stowell - The Dragon in the Library

Tuesday 29 Oct, 2:30-3:30pm

Join author Louie Stowell as readers encounter crazy creatures, create magical artwork, wind their way through foreign dictionaries, and unleash their inner wizards just in time to save the librarian.

Adults: £6, Under 6’s free.

Curator’s Talk – Writing Women’s Rights

Monday 4 November, 2-3pm

Join Dr Kim Simpson, co-curator of the 2019 library display ‘Writing Women’s Rights’, as she discusses the female authors who were taking on feminist issues long before the suffragettes.

£8/£6 Friends

Discover Chawton House after dark at these events with a difference…

Late Night Halloween Tour

**SOLD OUT** Thursday 31 October

Friday 1 November, 7:00pm – 9:00 pm

Following on from the success of last year’s sold out Halloween tour, Chawton House will once again open their doors after dark! For two nights, explore Chawton House on a candlelit tour with costumed guides.

Gothic themed drinks will be served in the Great Hall from 7pm.

Late Night Opening: Bonfire Night

Saturday 2 Nov 4-6:30pm

Soak up the atmosphere of the house by candlelight in this rare after hours opening. Warm by the fire in the Great Hall with a cup of delicious mulled cider before heading to the village to watch Chawton’s fireworks spectacular.

Usual admission fees apply.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: “Lady in the Veil”

Saturday 16 November, 7.00pm – 8.30pm

A one woman performance based on the life and works of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu – the eccentric literary genius and the unsung pioneer who championed to the introduction of smallpox inoculation to Britain.

Performance: £15, includes wine or soft drink

Feel festive with these seasonal events.

Apple Day

October 19, 11am-4pm

Meet our garden volunteers and find out about the unusual heritage varieties growing in the Chawton House orchard. Sample tasty apple treats from the Old Kitchen Tearoom’s special menu.

Usual admission fees apply

Christmas Fayre

Saturday 7 Dec, 11am-4pm

Sunday 8 Dec, 11am-4pm

Browse the stalls selling handmade and local produce, enjoy a mince pie or three, take part in festive family activities and meet Father Christmas in his grotto.

Entry is £2, free for children under 16