About Us

Welcome to Chawton House Library, a registered charity based within the South Downs National Park in Hampshire, UK.  Concentrating on education and heritage, the charity holds a unique collection of early women’s writing  circa 1600 – 1830.  We offer readers the chance to research and engage with a wealth of texts in the inspiring setting of Chawton House, where the historic location and rural tranquillity contextualise and complement the material.  As well as promoting study and research on women’s writing, the charity’s educational remit includes protecting and conserving the Elizabethan house and grounds, and maintaining a rural English working manor farm of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, managed using traditional, organic farming methods.   Chawton House Library believes in the power of education; that we all have the ability to learn from the past to enrich the future.

Chawton House Library is a member of The Heritage Collection in Hampshire’s South Downs National Park.


Mission Statement:

‘The Library’s mission is to promote study and research in early English women’s writing; to protect and preserve Chawton House, an English manor house dating from the Elizabethan period; and to maintain a rural English working manor farm of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, for the benefit of everyone.’



House and History

Edward Austen Knight - - Art, Furniture & Conservation



Chawton House’s gardens are part of listed parkland and have been restored to their former glory.

Picture Gallery


Take a look at our gallery with pictures from around the house and estate.

Trustees, Staff and Patrons

Stained Glass

Details of Trustees, staff, patrons and how to contact them.


Bright grounds

The extensive and historic Chawton estate and parkland, part of the South Downs National Park.


Library_Collections - - Biographies of Women Writers
- - Library Access and Facilities
- - Library Blog
- - Library Links
- - Newsletter: The Female Spectator
- - Novels Online
- - The Hampshire Chronicle
- Sandford Award