Mercure Dolphin Hotel Southampton

Discover Jane Austen's Southampton

Pride and Prejudice fans might know that Jane Austens tomb can be found in Winchester Cathedral – but did you know that Jane Austen had a strong association with Southampton, living here for three years from 1806-9? A heritage trail was set up marking this in 2006.

You can take a walk through Southampton town centre and retrace Jane Austen’s steps, marked by 8 memorial plaques at places where she lived and visited.

The Jane Austen Heritage Trail begins at Bargate, where 7 year old Jane, her sister and cousin went to a nearby school. Unfortunately it was only for a few weeks - they had to return home when the school was closed down after an outbreak of typhus.

At All Saints Church, down Southampton High Street at the corner of East Street, you’ll see a plaque marking the location of the Georgian church (since destroyed by bombing) used by Jane and her family.

From there the trail takes you to Arundel Circus, close to the Marks and Spencer exit of West Quay - then the site of a spa and botanical gardens where Jane walked with her family every day. The Juniper Berry pub on Castle Square is the site of Jane Austen’s house. The plaques lead you past the site of The Long Rooms and Hot Baths, the Theatre Royal on French Street (just past the Medieval Merchant’s House) and the Water Gate on Town Quay, where Jane crossed to Hythe by boat to visit friends in 1807.

Down Winkle Street and through the arch to God’s House Tower, you’ll be facing The Platform, a popular tree-lined walk in Austen’s day. Jane’s brother Frank ice skated in Queen’s Park on Platform Road in the winter of 1807.

Finally, following the Town Walls and going back on to the High Street heading North, you’ll come to the Mercure Southampton Centre Dolphin Hotel, where Jane celebrated her 18th birthday in December 1793 by going to a dance with her brother. She also wrote about going to other dances there. The ballroom, with its impressive bay windows, is on the first floor.

Visit www.tudorhouseandgarden.com for more information about Southampton's heritage and the Jane Austen Heritage Trail. Or call: 02380 834242.

You can download a copy of the Austen trail map here

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