A cowshed on the estate where Jane Austen wrote many of her books will be converted into a holiday home (Picture: Lee Evans Partnership / SWNS)
Fancy staying in a slice of literary history?
You’re in luck if so, as soon you’ll be able to book a getaway on the estate where Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice.
It’s also the spot featured on £10 notes.
Don’t get any grand ideas though – we’re not talking about a holiday in a fancy palatial home.
Instead, it will be an old cowshed that will serve as your home away from home.
The derelict outhouse is thought to have been home to three laundry workers in the 1800s, and sits in the shadow of Godmersham Park, where Jane Austen wrote many of her books.
Owners of the 1,200 acre-estate now plan to convert the shed, called The Byre, into a ‘charming’ guesthouse that will ‘generate a modest income’.
Once renovation is all done, the shed will have a bedroom with an en-suite, a kitchen, and a dining area.
The hut is thought to have been home to laundry workers in the 1800s (Picture: Lee Evans Partnership / SWNS)
While the interiors will be radically different, plans are to maintain the appearance of the building’s old exterior.
It’ll be aimed at couples looking for a countryside retreat, as well as writers keen to absorb any lingering creative powers from the area.
The proposals have been submitted to Ashford Borough Council’s planning department.
They have been drawn up by Kent-based architects Lee Evans Partnership which previously gained the go-ahead to turn Lord Kitchener’s former cottage in Broome Park, Canterbury, into a holiday home.
The home sits next to Godmersham Park, where Jane Austen stayed (Picture: KMG / SWNS)
Austen visited Godmersham Park, which was owned by her brother Edward, around six times between 1798 to 1813.
It’s thought she was inspired by the local society during her stays, and based Mansfield Park on the estate.
The house is still in good shape, but, sadly, the library where Jane Austen spent most of her time decayed by 1920.
Still, Austen expert Nigel Nicolson said Godmersham is ‘more closely connected with Jane Austen’s life and work than any other surviving house except Chawton cottage’ – her Hampshire home.
So if you are a fan, add this place to your must-visit list post-pandemic.
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