Welcome to The Greyfriar Chawton
Surrounded by the wonderful Hampshire countryside and Chawton’s rich literary history we have been the village pub since the time of the Spanish Armada. At the heart of the village we are a family and dog friendly country pub, that offers an unrivalled range of beverages, innovative flavour packed dishes made from local ingredients and traditional pub classics cooked to perfection, not forgetting our all-day offering if sourdough flatbreads and full flavoured pizza’s. The historic Hampshire village of Chawton is just off the junction of the A32 and A31 and a 15-minute walk from the centre of Alton. We are directly opposite the former home of world famous author Jane Austen and a five-minute walk from her ‘Great House’.
The Greyfriar Chawton has a large secluded garden with an extensive seating area. There is a children’s play park on the village green behind our large carpark and additional parking is available at several locations close to the pub.
The Attic (Private Dining)
We have invited selected local artists to exhibit their works in our private dining room. Situated on the first floor the ‘Gallery’ can be booked for larger groups of diners, who would like a more private setting. The art on display is available for purchase.
In 1578, Nicholas Knight purchased the Chawton estate. There had been a manor house in the village since the 13th Century, but in 1588 around the time of the Spanish Armada, Knight decided to build a grand house in its place.
Chawton House became known as the Great House 220 years later, thanks to Jane Austen’s association with the family through her brother Edward Austen Knight, who married into it and lived in Chawton House.
Around the same time as the house was being constructed, five minutes away, in the centre of the village, a public house was being built. It took its name from the crest above the Knight family heraldry. A lone friar.
No-one quite knows why a monk was chosen for the Knight family crest, but family historian, Caroline Jane Knight, believes villagers may have coined the name Greyfriar, after the order of Whitefriar monks in nearby Selbourne. Apparently their white robes were somewhat discoloured!
The ‘Greyfriar’ became the Knight family brand and thanks to this rich heritage, our pub shares their brand and carries their coat of arms and the name to this day.
Your New Hosts …
Simon, Norma, Iago and Gringo the lurcher, welcome you to The Greyfriar Chawton .
Simon has worked in the hospitality industry since 1991. As a restaurant manager he ran the front of house at London’s first Michelin starred Indian restaurant, Benares and at Park Lane’s Grosvenor House.
Simon was general manager at Gordon Ramsey Holdings for two years and was the general manager at Stovell’s in Chobham, where he gained his passion for wild crafted gin.
Norma is from Galicia in north west Spain. A practicing veterinary surgeon, Norma brings her love of Galician food, art and design, fun dining for all the family and a generous spoonful of business acumen to the partnership. All while looking after Iago and keeping Gringo out of trouble.
Simon and Norma shared a dream of owning and running a ‘proper’ country pub, that sold great food. In September 2017, they sold their house in London and secured the lease on The Greyfriar Chawton . Today having invested in its future, the pub offers everything they dreamt of including a warm friendly atmosphere, great ales, an unrivalled range of beverages, innovative flavour packed dishes made from local ingredients and traditional pub classics cooked to perfection.
The Greyfriar Chawton In The Press…