St. Mary's Church, Selborne, Hampshire

The village of Selborne, nestling in the idyllic surroundings of the hills around Alton in the middle of Hampshire, is famed for its associations with Gilbert White, the first naturalist to consider all of nature as a single integrated environment. His ground-breaking book "The Natural History of Selborne" is one of the seminal works of the sciences.

Gilbert White was the pastor of Selborne and is buried in the churchyard of St. Mary's Church across the road from his house, The Wakes, which is now a museum.

White, during his lifetime, also excavated the remains of Selborne Priory which stood nearby and dated from Saxon times. St. Mary's dates to 1180 and is most interesting for its two exceptional pieces of stained glass; one featuring (appropriately) St. Francis of Assisi and the other all the birds mentioned in White's book which was dedicated in 1993 to mark the bi-centenary of the publication.

Selborne is a beautiful little village and well worth a detour if you are in the area.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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