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

Inspired by the Word

Inspired by the Word is an exhibition by contemporary artists celebrating the literature of Hampshire writers – Jane Austen, Edward Thomas and Gilbert White. Winchester Cathedral, Gilbert White’s garden at Gilbert White & The Oates Collection in Selborne, Petersfield Physic Garden and Museum (new galleries), Chawton House Library and the Red House Museum garden, Christchurch, will showcase sculpture, letter carving and works in other media.
2017 marks the bicentenary of the death of Jane Austen in Winchester and the centenary of the death of Edward Thomas at Arras.

    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