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Jane Austen's last residence: No 8, College Street, Winchester, England by Philip Mitchell
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Jane Austen's last residence: No 8, College Street, Winchester, England by 


Number 8 stands unassumingly amongst the other eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings in Winchester’s College Street. Even with the modern slate plaque above the front door, it would be easy to pass it by without realising it was here that Jane Austen, one of the greatest novelists ever to have written in English, spent her final days, living just long enough to complete her last novel, Persuasion.

Having fallen seriously ill the previous year, perhaps with Addison’s disease, her family finally persuaded her to move from rural Chawton some twenty miles away into lodgings in Winchester, so that she could be treated properly. In the event the doctors could do nothing for her, and she died peacefully on 18 July 1817 within a few weeks of her arrival in the city.

Just two years later John Keats would be staying in Winchester for a little while, enjoying what was probably the last happy spell in his all too short life, walking out each day along College Street, headed for the Water Meadows and St Cross beyond. It is fascinating to wonder whether he even noticed this modest house, let alone realising its associations with the mainstream of English literature, whose ranks he would shortly be joining.

Number 8, College Street is listed as a Grade II* building by English Heritage.

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college street, england, jane austen, last residence, wessex, winchester

I am based near Winchester in mid-Hampshire (UK) and have enjoyed photographing a wide variety of subjects for over 40 years, though the digital revolution has been a real boon.

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Comments

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkealmost 4 years ago

  • Thank you. It’s almost impossible to make a really interesting photograph of this house, but I hope its history makes up for that! Philip

    – Philip Mitchell

  • MarianBendeth
    MarianBendethover 3 years ago

    This is just wonderful!
    You’ve provided a rich and colourful backdrop to this modest house with such prized authors.
    One of the many wonderous things I miss about Great Britain!

  • Many thanks for your kind appreciation and for making this a favourite. Philip

    – Philip Mitchell

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