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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey remains open for worship and you are welcome to join us at our daily Eucharist service if you are able to travel here safely within current government guidelines.

However, for the time being we are unable to open the Abbey and St Margaret’s Church for general visiting.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire but a small tablet was unveiled to her memory in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, on 17th December 1967. This was given by The Jane Austen Society. The polished Roman stone tablet, designed by the Abbey's Surveyor S.E. Dykes Bower, is on the wall adjacent to Shakespeare's memorial and the inscription reads simply:

JANE AUSTEN 1775 1817

She was the daughter of a country clergyman, George Austen, and his wife Cassandra (Leigh) and was born at the rectory at Steventon in Hampshire on 16th December 1775. In her books she portrayed the society and manners of the life to which she belonged: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. The family later moved to Bath and after her father's death she lived in the village of Chawton. Although she had several suitors Jane never married. She died in Winchester on 18th July 1817.

A copy of the sermon preached at Evensong before the unveiling can be obtained from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

"A memoir of Jane Austen" by James E. Austen-Leigh, 1870

See also the websites of the Jane Austen Society UK and Jane Austen's House Museum (her house at Chawton).

Born

16th December 1775

Died

18th July 1817

Memorial

17th December 1967

Occupation

Writer; novelist

Location

South Transept; Poets' Corner

Memorial Type

Tablet

Material Type

Stone

Jane Austen
Jane Austen

[Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Jane Austen
Jane Austen memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

I feel very privileged to work here. I take so much pride in working for a beautiful place like the Abbey, it’s unique.

Alex - Abbey Marshal

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