Anniversary Festival, 11-21 July

Join us for our annual summer festival - 10 days of events commemorating Jane Austen’s death on 18 July 1817, and this year also marking the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Museum in July 1949!

This year our annual Anniversary Festival will not only commemorate Jane Austen’s life and works, but will also mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Museum in 1949.

We’ll be opening a new display in the Courtyard Gallery: ‘Memories and Memorials’: 75 years of Jane Austen’s House which looks back to the 1940s and the opening of the Museum. The display will run from 8 July – 1 September 2024.

We also have a busy events programme across the festival period – join us for special house tours and village walks, costumed events, and insightful and inspiring talks. There are also plenty of virtual events so that everyone can join in, no matter where you are in the world!

We kick off on 11 July with our Virtual Book Club, discussing Jane Austen’s ‘perfect’ summer novel, Emma. Join this fun and friendly group session to discuss Emma’s penchant for match-making, Harriet’s riddle book and that trip to Box Hill.

On Friday 12 July we are looking back 500 years with our special History of the House Tour – exploring this special building and discovering its secrets, from Witches’ marks in the cellar to bricked up doorways, mathematical tiles and pub brawls (!).

Saturday 13 July is probably our favourite day of the year – Dress Up Day! For one day only we invite you to don your best Regency regalia and pose, picnic or promenade at Jane Austen’s House and our pretty cottage garden. It’s a way to step back in time and get a sense of life in Regency England, and to experience the House in a new way. We can’t wait to see your Regency outfits – but if you don’t have a Regency dress of your own, we’ll have lots available for you to try on.

This year Dress Up Day will also feature some special extras – you can get a head start on the day by joining us for a very special Guided House Tour in Regency Dress (what could be lovelier than to explore the House out-of-hours in full Regency dress?!) or a gorgeously flamboyant Chawton Village Walk in Costume – exploring and learning about Jane Austen’s picture-perfect village. In the afternoon we’ll be joined for a captivating talk: The Modern Venus: fashion in the 18th century by fashion historian Elisabeth Gernerd, delving into the fascinating world of late eighteenth-century underwear and accessories.

On Saturday evening we’ll be kicking off our dancing slippers and enjoying pizza and Prosecco in the garden – courtesy of our lovely local village pub, The Greyfriar. As dusk falls, you can also take the opportunity to explore the House by candlelight, and enjoy live harp music in the Drawing Room.

On Sunday 14th we’ll be joined by acclaimed Austen scholar Dr Juliette Wells, whose talk A New Jane Austen will reveal fascinating details and stories about some of our most iconic objects, from  a lock of Jane Austen’s hair to the topaz crosses owned by the Austen sisters. After the talk, join us for tea and cake and take the opportunity to pick up a signed copy of Juliette’s book A New Jane Austen!

We’re back on Thursday 18 July with a big day of events, commemorating the anniversary of Jane Austen’s death on 18 July 1817. We’ll start with an exclusive early-morning house tour exploring Jane Austen’s life and legacy. Over lunchtime, drop in to a free creative writing session. At 3pm we’re hosting a live version of our popular book club come along for tea, cake, and lots of lively discussion! Finally we’ll finish the day with a virtual House tour, enabling fans across the world to join us as we commemorate Jane Austen’s extraordinary life, works and legacy, through her beloved house and our extraordinary collection.

Finally, join us on Saturday 20 July for a joyful afternoon of music and conversation with Gillian Dooley. She Played and She Sang: Jane Austen and Music  will include a live performance on our 1813 Clementi square piano, and a fascinating discussion about Jane Austen and music, ranging from Gillian’s adventures in investigating the Austen family sheet music collection to links she has found between Jane Austen’s life and work and her musical tastes. We finish with tea and cake, and the chance to pick up a signed copy of Gillian’s book. What a treat!


Thursday 11 July, 7pm: Virtual Book Club: Emma

Friday 12 July, 9am: Guided Tour: History of The House 

Saturday 13 July (all day): Dress Up Day

9am: Guided House Tour in Regency Dress

12pm: Chawton Village Walk in Costume

3pm: Fashion in the 18th Century

6-9pm: Late View: Pizza & Prosecco (last entry 8pm)

Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm: Talk: A New Jane Austen


Thursday 18 July: Anniversary of Jane Austen’s Death

9am: Guided Tour: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy

12pm: Creative Writing Session: Drop in and Write

3pm: Book Club Live!

7pm: Virtual Tour

Saturday 20 July, 2pm: Talk: She Played and She Sang, Jane Austen and Music


We can’t wait to see you there!

View our events for more info on all events and to book tickets!