About the CharityJane Austen's House is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Reg No. 1156458).
Jane Austen’s House has been open to the public as a museum since 1949. In the late 1940s Mr T. Edward Carpenter, a London solicitor, read that members of the informal literary society that was to become the Jane Austen Society wanted to establish the house as a public museum and offered to take on the project. Mr Carpenter purchased the house in memory of his son, who had been killed in action in the Second World War and established a charity to own and run the museum.
An internationally significant collection
As soon as the house was opened to the public work began collecting items for display and preservation. Today JAH is home to an inspiring collection of Austen’s letters, rare first editions, and personal items, as well as paintings, furniture and objects from the Regency.
You can find out more about our collection here.
A place to explore, discover and be inspired
For over 70 years JAH has been running an inspiring learning and events programme, sharing our love of Jane Austen, and the unique experience of being in the very place she wrote her influential and globally beloved novels.
From schools workshops to candlelight tours, as well as a whole range of virtual events, there is something for everyone, not matter where you are in the world.
Find out more about our learning programme here.
Jane Austen’s House Today
Jane Austen’s House will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2024, and Austen’s 250th birthday in 2025. JAH is fully Accredited under the ACE scheme and operates according to the UK Museums Association’s Code of Ethics. It is a member of various sector groups including the Association of Independent Museums (AIM), Tourism South East and the Association of Cultural Enterprises
Our Charitable Objectives
The advancement of education and in particular the study of English Literature, especially the life and works of Jane Austen. Activities in furtherance of this will include the maintenance of a museum for the public benefit in the house at Chawton, Hampshire that was Jane Austen’s home for the last eight years of her life.
Jane Austen’s House employs a team of 15 staff, at a FTE of 8. The team is hard working, dedicated and innovative, delivering above budget performance and creating exciting programming, interpretation and secondary spend offers. They are ambitious for the future of the charity, with a deep understanding of the collections and the significance of the House. True brand ambassadors, they have a genuine affection for Austen’s work, and a drive to communicate and promote her legacy.
Our Board of Trustees
Over the past two years we have successfully recruited new trustees, bringing together a talented, experienced and diverse board with specialisms in museums, arts and heritage, learning, advertising, law and finance, that delivers considered and enriching strategic leadership for Jane Austen’s House. 2022 has been a handover year between new and existing board members, with a focus on developing strategy for the next three years.
Chair of Trustees: Isabel Hughes