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

Exhibition: Watching Narrowly Photography Exhibition

5th April-12th June 2022

When the covid-19 pandemic hit we were all forced to look at the world a little differently. With more time on our hands and only our local areas to explore, we all became a little more Gilbert White.

Gilbert White is renowned for what he called ‘Watching Narrowly’, making minute observations of the natural world around him, and from that gaining a better understanding and appreciation of nature as a whole.

In the lockdown of 2021 we set up a seasonal photography competition where entrants would send us nature photographs which took on the theme of ‘watching narrowly’ and were overwhelmed by the response and the quality of the images sent to us. Displaying what an amazing world we live in. The winners displayed in this exhibition were chosen by the museum’s Chair of Trustees Professor Khalid Aziz.

    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.

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