House, Gardens & Cafe Open Tuesday - Sunday 10.30 - 17.00

Exhibition: The Feminine Monarchie

30th March-29th August 2023

A display in the Long Corridor celebrating 400 since the 2nd edition of Charles Butler’s The Feminine Monarchie or The History of Bees, which was the seminal text on bee keeping for hundreds of years. Hampshire based parson Charles Butler (1571 –1647) was not only a forerunner of Gilbert White in his observations on bees but actually a relation! Butler is Gilbert White’s great great uncle!

The display will explore Butler’s life and works, the relationship with Gilbert White’s work and bee keeping at Gilbert White’s today!

Entry free with admission.

    Gilbert Whites House

    Gilbert White was aged 7 or 8 when the White family moved from the Vicarage on Selborne’s Plestor, to this house, called ‘The Wakes’ (named after the Wake family who had lived here previously). At that time the property would have been no more than a ‘two up, two down’  but over the subsequent years lots of extensions and additions have been made, creating the long sizeable house you see today.

    The rooms have been restored following descriptions in White’s own correspondence and include a chair he used at Oriel College, Oxford (loaned from the College), items of contemporary furniture, family portraits and bed hangings embroidered for him by his aunts.

    On display is the original manuscript of his book, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, which was purchased with generous help from English Heritage and others.

    Learn more