back search


Jane Austen's Hampshire


Jane would have known Ibthorpe from visiting the Lloyd family. It was not far away from Steventon. The Lloyds had been tenants of the Austens, taking over Deane parsonage in 1789, and were related by marriage. Jane and Cassandra were good friends with Mary and Martha Lloyd, and Mary Lloyd eventually married James Austen, Jane's brother. The Lloyds moved to Ibthorpe in 1792 and Jane and Cassandra stayed with them in October 1792.

Then in November 1800 Jane stayed with Martha Lloyd at Ibthorpe where she had 'the pleasure of spending my time very pleasantly' despite wet weather which made it 'too dirty even for such desperate walkers as Martha and I to get out of doors'. (Letters no 28)

She returned to Steventon in the December to be greeted with the news that her family was moving to Bath, and family tradition has it that she fainted away, the shock was so great.

Cassandra helped Martha nurse Mrs Lloyd in her final illness, and after the latter's death at Ibthorpe in April 1805, Martha Lloyd moved in with the Austens at Bath, and stayed with them after the move to Chawton in 1809. It was a happy arrangement and Martha stayed for about 20 years altogether.


The house at Ibthorpe

In this section…