Chawton House, Hampshire, July 16, 2019. Last Sunday was Chawton House’s first ever Summer Fayre, with events happening in the large marquee on the South Lawn, erected for the Jane Austen Society AGM, which took place the previous day.
Filling the marquee and tents lining the driveway were over thirty craft stalls, many of whom returned from last year’s Christmas Fayre. The marquee also held workshop tables for calligraphy, lace tatting, photography and creative writing. Nearby was a ‘comfy seating area’ where children could sit and listen to costumed storytelling.
With a dance floor in the middle of the marquee, taking center stage – quite literally – were the Hampshire Regency Dancers, who performed in historical dress before encouraging audience members to participate in dances familiar to Jane Austen.
Elsewhere on the lawn were traditional fête games, hosted by Jeremy Knight. As a boy growing up in Chawton House, Jeremy remembers playing the same games when his family hosted villagers for community events. In the Great Hall volunteer and researcher, Martin Caddick, revealed secrets of Chawton House’s past and Dr. Kim Simpson gave a Curator’s talk in the Library on the Writing Women’s Rights display.
“This is only the beginning for making Chawton House a space for the community to enjoy,” said Katie Childs, Chief Executive. “We are transforming Chawton House into an organization that looks outwards and builds links with local networks. The whole team really came together to make sure the Summer Fayre was a great day for visitors. Now onto the next event!”
Chawton House will host its second Plant Fairs Roadshow this Sunday 21 July, 11am-4pm. The event offers visitors the opportunity to see and buy plants direct from the growers, and also gain first-hand advice.
Tickets to the Roadshow are £5 and include garden admission. Gardener’s World cardholders will be entitled to 2-for-1 entry to the Fair.