St Mary
St Mary's Selbourne

The Church

Founded in Saxon times and mentioned in the Domesday Book the present church with its sturdy Norman tower and nave, largely dates from 1180.

The chancel, when lit, is of great beauty. Above the altar is a fine Flemish painting showing the Adoration of the Magi. Painted by Jan Mostaert in 1515 it was presented to the church in 1793 by Benjamin White, the brother of Gilbert White. A black slab on the floor commemorates his grandfather, Gilbert White senior, vicar of the parish from 1681 to 1728. The Elizabethan altar rails were brought to the church from St Juliot's Church in Cornwall, whilst on the wall is a fine 16th century Flemish wood carving showing the Descent from the Cross.

This information and picture come from the pages written by John Symonds for the Waterlooville's On-Line Parish Magazine. Link here.

Box Pews

The church once contained box-pews, of a standard and condition described by Gilbert White as  ' . . . nothing can be more irregular than the pews of this church which are of all dimensions and heights, being patched up according to the fancy of the owners.' See Pew Renting 


Dove's reference for the bells:

[28/11/00] Selborne, Hants, St Mary (GF), 6, 9-0-20 in A. Thu 20.00 

The six bells in the tower were recast in 1735. Gilbert White recorded the event as follows. 'The day of arrival of this tuneable peal was observed as a high festival in the village and rendered more joyous by an order from the donor that the treble bell should be fixed bottom upward in the ground and filled with punch, of which all present were invited to partake.' 

The church clock, with its single hand, is one of the oldest in Hampshire, dating from 1678.


Map reference  :  SU742338

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This site has been constructed by, and remains the copyright of, its authors,
Edwin and Sheila Macadam,

Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
Oxford OX2 9BP
July 2001 -