Interest has recently revived in Scarletts, the manor house once owned by Jane Austen's maternal uncle, James Leigh Perrot. It comes as the house has recently been put on the market, and we could not help ourselves but have another look at the manor and its history. If only we had £3,500,000 laying around...
Scarletts was built in the 1760s for Mr and Mrs Leigh Perrot, and as such is a Grade II listed property. It is thought they visited Scarletts in the summer months and spent their winters in Bath. The house is situated not far from Bath Road, making travel between their homes particularly convenient. During the seventeenth century, the road was known as the Great Road To Bristol and only became known as Bath Road after Queen Anne's patronage of Bath as a spa city.
Jane was sent to study at The Reading Ladies' Boarding School in the years between 1785 and 1786, and Scarletts is similarly located in Berkshire. Whilst we cannot be certain if Jane was a frequent visitor, we can speculate that she quite likely would have visited Scarletts on occasion, both as a child and later in life. In one of her letters to Cassandra from 1801, Jane records her journey to Bath with her mother in a hired post-chaise, looking for a new place of residence for the Austen family. It is suspected they stayed with Mr and Mrs Leigh Perrot whilst they secured a new place to live and suggests the Austen family were comfortable staying with these relatives.
Scarletts is a fine example of Georgian architecture and features the typical high ceilings you would expect, and even still has some of the original fireplaces. So often much of the past is lost with the passage of time. It is marvellous to see another example of Georgian architecture has survived, and even more so because of Scarletts' link to the Austen family.
If this look at Scarletts has got you thinking about Jane and her links to different places in England, why not take a look at our handy Jane Austen's England Travel Guide.
One can only hope some rich American who is an Austen fan will buy it and restore it to its former glory. Another good subject for all the " Chateau restoring" thats going on in France on Instagram with Patrons funding.