Concept

Selborne

Summary
Selborne is a village in Hampshire, England, south of Alton, and just within the northern boundary of the South Downs National Park. The village receives visitors because of its links with the naturalist Revd. Gilbert White, a pioneer of birdwatching. St Mary the Virgin is a Grade I listed church that dates back to the late 12th century. There is a primary school, and a Village Stores & Post Office (currently closed and For Sale). Furthermore, there is one public house the "Selborne Arms". A bus service that runs through the village links it to Alton and Petersfield. At the back of the village, behind the Selborne Arms and Gilbert White's Field Studies Centre, there is the Zig-Zag Path, which was cut into the hillside in the 1760s by Gilbert White and his brother John, to provide easier access to the Hanger and Selborne Common on the summit of Selborne Hill. A complete history of Selborne, from its geology through its establishment as a settlement in the Dark Ages to the present day, including a study of local architecture, was locally published in March 2009: Knights, Priests & Peasants was written by Dr. Edward Yates, a retired academic polymath and long-time resident of the village. Its 400 pages include oral histories from the turn of the 19th/20th centuries. Selborne is famous for its association with the 18th-century naturalist Gilbert White (1720–1793), who lived at The Wakes and wrote The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne. Tourism helps to support the local pub and a thriving village shop, which the resident population alone would make unviable. Many people combine their visit with one to Jane Austen’s house in nearby Chawton. First published in 1789 by Benjamin White (Gilbert's brother), the book has not been out of print in over 200 years. White is recognised as being the first ecologist or environmentalist. Most of his observations on wildlife remain pertinent, although he did have some strange theories.
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