Over 250 years ago, Selborne and its surrounding landscape inspired Gilbert White’s life-long investigation of the natural world, culminating in his world-famous book 'The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne'.
First published in 1789, it has had over 300 editions and is reputedly the 4th most published work after 'The Bible', 'The Complete Works of Shakespeare' and 'The Pilgrim’s Progress'.
"Gilbert White’s book, more than any other, has shaped our everyday view of the relations between humans and nature” – Richard Mabey, naturalist and Gilbert White biographer.
2020 will mark the 300th anniversary of Gilbert White’s birth and GW300, launched in July 2019, is a partnership dedicated to raising the profile of Gilbert White.
A wide range of events are planned, from permanent exhibitions to talks and activity events around the country.
Gilbert White’s House & Garden
Gilbert White was born in Selborne in 1720 in the Vicarage where his grandfather was the parish priest.
At seven years old, Gilbert and his family moved from the Vicarage on Selborne’s Plestor to The Wakes, where he lived from 1727 until his death in 1793.
The Wakes is at the heart of the village of Selborne, and is the core of an important part of Britain’s heritage landscape.
During the years when Gilbert White lived at The Wakes, he was inspired by the English Landscape Movement and the writing of Philip Miller to create a landscape garden in Selborne.
Today you can still see the original Haha, Sundial and Fruit Wall as well as the Great Oak. Gilbert White & The Oates Collection tell Gilbert White’s story within the walls of his family home and you can visit the beautifully restored house and gardens 7 days a week.
You can also visit the museum, see fascinating historical collections and take part in educational activities for all ages.
Tree planting project
East Hampshire District Council launched a programme to plant a tree for every resident in East Hampshire at the Selborne home of Gilbert White.
The council plans to plant 120,000 trees across the district over the next four years as part of its commitment to battling climate change and reducing its impact on the environment.
The first tree was planted on the 3 October 2019 in the grounds of Gilbert White’s House and Museum, in Selborne by EHDC Leader Cllr Richard Millard and is in the shadow of the great oak planted by White himself as a 10-year-old boy in 1730.
The planting is the first of many events that will celebrate Gilbert’s 300th birthday.
Gilbert White 300 Documentary
EHDC are keen to ensure that that the celebrations during GW300 are captured and local film company Alt House Media, who were previously commissioned to produce the Jane Austen 200 film, will be producing a film to promote the village of Selborne and Gilbert White.