Jane Austen 250

250 years of Jane Austen in 2025

Discover Jane Austen’s Southampton story

In 2025 Southampton will be putting itself firmly on the literary map with a series of exciting events and visitor programmes.

One of the most famous British authors, Jane Austen’s strong connections to Bath and the north of Hampshire have been well publicised, but her links with Southampton are lesser known

In 2025, Southampton will be celebrating 250 years since the birth of famed author, and Southampton-resident, Jane Austen.

The events will spotlight Jane Austen’s Southampton story, inviting you to explore different perspectives of her life and the relevance of her storytelling for the city in 2025.

See below for the events announced so far - we will list the full programme of Jane Austen events here, so watch this space for more information as events are announced!

Read more about Jane Austen’s Southampton story

Jane austen 250

Jane Austen Events

GHT desk closed

Jane Austen exhibition at God’s House Tower: In Training for a Heroine
November 2024 – February 2025

Marking the start of Jane Austen 250 in Southampton, Austen’s travelling writing desk will be exhibited at God’s House Tower, just a stone’s throw from where she lived in the city over 200 years ago. On loan from the British Library, the desk is returning to the city the first time since she lived here between 1806 and 1809. It is the centrepiece of an exhibition that will include opportunities for local communities to get involved through workshops, creative commissions and activities.

Front doors of Gods House Tower, Southampton

The portable, mahogany desk was designed to fold into a case for ease of travelling, and was gifted to Jane Austen around the time of her 19th birthday by her father, George Austen. Exactly 230 years later, the desk will be at the heart of a year-long celebration of Jane Austen’s 250th birthday in Southampton, and across the world.

‘a space’ arts and Southampton Forward have secured the loan of Jane Austen’s travelling writing desk from the British Library, with support from Art Fund.

Jane Austen Trail

Jane Austen Heritage Walking Trail front over text with illustration of Jane Austen

The Jane Austen Heritage Walking Trail was launched in 2017 to commemorate Austen’s time in Southampton.

There are eight plaques each at a location associated with Jane Austen. The plaque at the beginning of the trail at Bargate marks the place where seven-year-old Jane, her sister and cousin attended a nearby school run by a Mrs Ann Cawley, only to return home again after a few weeks when the school was closed down after an outbreak of typhus. The author spent many holidays in Southampton and subsequently moved to live in the city from 1806 to 1809.

Download the Jane Austen Heritage Trail here.

Jane Austen Go Jauntley Screenshot on Phone

Looking for a digital trail?

Download the Go Jauntly App for free and explore the Jane Austen Jaunt to discover where she lived, learnt and played. Find out more here.

All Jane Austen events

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