The story of Jane Austen’s links with the idyllic village of Adlestrop one of the ancestral homes of the Leigh family has not yet been fully told. Jane’s mother Cassandra was a Leigh, a dynasty that boasted an Elizabethan Lord Mayor of London, ducal marriage alliances, a peerage granted by Charles I, eccentric Oxford luminaries as well as the spectre of lunacy and threats of bankruptcy.
Jane Austen stayed with her Leigh cousins at Adlestrop several times and kept in constant touch with events there by letter. It was in Gloucestershire that she saw at first-hand how the eighteenth-century craze for improvements totally changed the village landscape. It is probable that Adlestrop Park and the Parsonage House inspired fictional places such as Thornton Lacey in Mansfield Park. The Leigh’s colourful lives and inheritance problems influenced many of the plot lines in Jane Austen’s books.
For much more about Jane Austen’s connections with Adlestrop and for the history of the village see Victoria Huxley’s book on the subject: Jane Austen and Adlestrop, available from all good bookshops.
Two excellent stockists local to Adlestrop are:
For more information about the book see the Jane Austen and Adlestrop website