As an organisation, Chawton House Library regularly reviews current Health and Safety policies. The following information is for guidance purposes and we encourage educational visit organisers to visit us in advance of a school visit to carry out their own risk assessments. Please contact the Education Officer to arrange such a visit or if you have any queries. The Education Officer and the Educational Visit Volunteer have been CRB checked.
Steps up to front door: can become slippy in wet or icy conditions.
There is ramp access from the car park to the North Porch door for wheelchair users or visitors who are unable to manage the steps.
There are two main staircases in the house and a lot of steps and stairs in other areas. Assume that every time you go through a door you will find a step.
There are areas in the house with uneven floors.
In the event of the fire alarm sounding, the member of staff from Chawton House Library or the Jane Austen House Museum with the group will take the group to the nearest fire exit and the group will assemble on the South Lawn at the side of the House. School staff will be asked to take a roll call and the number will be checked by Chawton House Library staff against the signing in book which is completed by Chawton House Library staff on the arrival and departure of each group. No one will be allowed back into the House until the all clear is given by the member of staff in charge of the evacuation.
If a group has arranged to eat packed lunches in the Old Kitchen as part of their visit the member of staff showing them to the Old Kitchen will advise the group leader of the nearest fire exit, toilets and how to contact Chawton House Library staff in an emergency.
We hope that the following will be of help when planning your educational visit. Please be aware that Chawton House is nearly 430 years old and that many changes have occurred in the house during this time! This means there are a lot of steps and stairs in the house and some uneven floors.
As the house is now a working library we expect appropriate levels of behaviour from school groups as there will be library users working in the reading rooms and the possibility of other events taking place in the House and gardens.
How do I find directions to Chawton House Library?
Do I have to pay a deposit to confirm an educational visit?
For Austen themed school visits run in partnership with the Jane Austen House Museum and student house tours and library visits there is no requirement to pay a deposit. When the programme for your visit has been agreed you will be sent an email confirming the visit and this will be your confirmation. We will invoice you after your visit or you can pay on the day.
For longer, bespoke visits a deposit of 20% of the total cost will be required to confirm the visit with the balance payable after the visit.
Is there coach parking at Chawton House Library?
There is a limited amount of parking available at the Library for cars and small minibuses. Please be aware that it is not possible to accommodate large coaches as the drive to the house is unsuitable for such vehicles. Groups can be dropped off in the lane at the top of the drive to Chawton House Library and a coach can be parked at the top of the drive in front of the barrier. There are a small number of coach bays in the village car park in Chawton.
Is Chawton House Library accessible to disabled visitors?
There is a ramp from the car park to the North Porch Door and wheelchair access is possible to the Old Kitchen, the Servants’ Passage, the Main Staircase Hall, the Downstairs Reading Room and the Great Hall. There is a disabled toilet.
What happens if I have to cancel my visit?
For visits that do not require a deposit there is no charge if a cancellation is made more than 24 hours in advance of the visit. For visits that do require a deposit, cancellation of such visits will incur loss of the deposit.
What happens if Chawton House Library has to change or cancel an educational visit booking?
Chawton House Library is a working library situated in a historic building. We are a small team and on the very rare occasions that we may have to change or cancel a booking we will inform the organiser as soon as possible. For visits that required a deposit we will refund the deposit in full if it is not possible to arrange a new visit at a mutual convenient date and/or time.
Which rooms will we see on the house tours?
Chawton House Library is a working library and it is not possible to guarantee which rooms will be shown to visitors on any particular day. Due to operational demands some rooms may not be available on the day of a visit and if this is the case the group organiser will be informed of this on arrival. In practice, this is a rare occurence but group organisers need to be aware of the possibility.
Please note: for Jane Austen themed school visits every effort is made to run the dancing session in the Great Hall but this cannot be guaranteed and there may be occasions when an alternative room will be used. Organisers will be informed on arrival is this is the case. In order to gain as much as possible from the dancing session there should be no more than 20 pupils in a group. If the total number of pupils exceeds 20 then the group will be split between Chawton House Library and the Jane Austen House Museum and two dancing sessions will be run.
Sarah Parry, Education Officer, Chawton House Library