The influence of Worthing on the writing of Jane Austen was the subject of a guided tour of the town.

Members of the Jane Austen Society met to discuss its similarities to the fictional Sussex seaside resort of her final novel.

Sanditon was the setting for a novel left unfinished when the author died in 1817 but according to Worthing resident Janet Clarke there is enough evidence in the existing 12 chapters to indicate it was based on the town.

She said: “Jane Austen spent the autumn of 1805 in Worthing just after her father had died. At the time it was an up and coming resort and it would have been a very interesting time for her to be here.

“People are starting to rediscover Sanditon at the moment which is wonderful because the 12 chapters we have a really sparkling.”

A total of 24 members attended the event, which took in Austen’s temporary home at Standford Cottage, off Warwick Street, as well as Broadwater Church where she worshipped.

Mrs Clarke said: “Everyone said they thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the sights she would have visited. It’s great to be able to show what Worthing has to offer.”

For more information about the society go to