Maria Miller MP and the Basingstoke and Deane Jane Austen Group (BADJAG) commemorated the author’s birthday at a ceremony on the site of the new Jane Austen sculpture outside the Willis Museum in Basingstoke.

Phil Howe, BADJAG member, who runs Hidden Britain Tours, led the ceremony with a few words about the author and her famous works written whilst she lived in the Borough.

Maria commented; “It is wonderful to think that Jane Austen walked across this Market square which is now home to a permanent memorial to her.

It seemed fitting that we came to pay tribute to her on her birthday and lay flowers at the foot of the sculpture and I am certain it will become an annual tradition.

I am incredibly encouraged that the “Basingstoke Jane Austen” as the Sculpture is now called, has been warmly received by both residents and visitors.”