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Probable planting of Selborne yew
700 - 1050
Probable foundation of first church in Selborne following St Birinius' mission to Wessex in 634.
Domesday Book mentions an earlier church standing on the site of the present one. 'In NEATHAM Hundred the King himself holds Selborne. Queen Edith held it. It never paid tax. The King gave 1/2 hide of this manor with the church to Radfred the priest. Value before 1066 and later 12s.6d; now 8s 4d. Nothing remains of Radfred's church which was probably made of wood, but the font which stands in the present church is possibly a survivor from the previous Saxon church. See '~The Church' file.

Saxon font probably predates the Norman church and is certainly as old as the pillars

1170 -1180
The building of the present church was probalby started at this time. It still has its original nave pillars and the ground plan is substantially the same, although there have been numersous alterations and repairs.
Mathew succeeds Radfred as Rector of Selborne
Magna Carta
The south aisle was rebuilt and enlarged. At some point in the 14th century the north aisle was constructed (1305?), narrower than the south aisle which may have been enlarged at the same time. Original church door with wrought iron hinges dates from this time.
Philip de Lucy Rector
Oliv er Rector
Peter de Roches, Bishop of Winchester, began to build and endow an Augustinian Priory at Selborne, and in 1233 it was given a charter by King Henry III. A few years later the advowson (right to grant a living for a priest) for the church was passed from the Abbey of Mont St Michel, to the Priory. Guy appointed Rector
Gilbert de Bohunt Last rector of Selborne
There are Templar tombstones in the south aisle of the church (although the Templar attribution is disputed - see David Baker 'Templars in the Church' in 'History'). The manor of Sotherington was held by the Knights Templar (hence 'Temple', the home of Lord and Lady Selborne) where they had a preceptory. The knights were a religious order founded in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 12th century to guard pilgrimson their journey to the Holy Land. They took monastic vows but also undertook to wage a continual war against the infidel. The order was dissolved with much cruelty in 1312.
Reginald Vicar of Selborne
Geoffrey de Creye Vicar of Selborne
Roger Vicar of Selborne
Roger de Lechlade Vicar of Selborne, and Richard le Bel also Vicar of Selborne
Richard Vicar of Selborne
Ela Longspee gave 100 marks to the Priory and Convent of Selborne in return for which a canon was to celebrate masses for her at the altar of St Stephen, St John Baptist and St Thomas the Martyr, and her death was to be marked with all the prayers and ceremonies due to a Prior. According to Gilbert White, the east end of the south aisle was once divided off by a parclose screen, and it is possible that this may have been the chantry she founded. Ela Longspee was the grand daughter of Fair Rosamond (mistress of King Henry II) and King Henry. She was married twice, first to the EArl of Warwick and econd to Sir Phillip Bassett of Mapledurwell, a strong supporter of Henry III. At the end of her life she became a nun and was buried in the nunnery of Osney which she founded. Her brother-in-law Gilbert Bassett, was an enemy of Peter de Roches. The south aisle contained a chantry chapel dedicated to her. Subsequently the south aisle chapel was said to be dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury
The north transept may have been built as a chantry for Sir Adam de Gurdon, a man of property and standing in Selborne. In 1271 , he gave the Plestor to the Prior and Convent which enabled them to hold a market there under a charter of Henry III. De Gurdon was known to be of great stature and during alterations of 1721, and again in 1948, the bones of a large man were disinterred near the north wall of the transept. Sir Adam's early life was a stormy one. He supported Simon de Montfort aganst Henry III and after the Battle of Evesham, when De Montfort was killed, lived as an outlaw in the woods near Alton. There one day he fought Prince Edward (later Edward I) in single combat who unhorsed him. He was pardoned and treated with great generosity. Sir Adam then became a loyal and trusted adherent of the Prince.
North transept added. See 'St Mary's Selborne. Listed building text'
William Vicar of Selborne
Vicar excommunicated for taking part in an attack on Rector of Froyle
John Andrew Vicar of Selborne
The Black Death
Adam Senkler Syynclar (or Sinclair) Vicar of Selborne
William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, made a Vistation to the Priory which had a doubtful reputation owing to the lax behaviour of the canons.
John Cook Vicar of Selborne
John Robyn Vicar of Selborne
Robert Donyngton Vicar of Selborne
Richard Salf Vicar of Selborne
John Lynne Vicar of Selborne
Hugo Tybbe Vicar of Selborne. Later William Waryn Vicar of Selborne
Richard ap Jankyn Vicar of Selborne
Thomas Hemmeslay Vicar of Selborne
John Nowell Vicar of Selborne
Caxton prints first book in English
John Sherson Vicar of Selborne
The Pope, on the petition of the Bishop of Winchester, William Wayneflete, dissolved the Priory and its lands and possessions, including the advowson of the church (the ability to appoint the incumbent), passed to the Bishop's new foundation in Oxford, Magdalen College.
15-16 centuries
Church porch built probably around this time.
William Fisher first Vicar of Selborne appointed by Magdalen College Oxford
Robert Teynter Vicar of Selborne
The church would have been stripped of its treasures during the reign of Edward VI and this may have been when the church interior was first whitewashed. Durig this time Milo Person was Vicar; he was appointed in 1528 and remained until 1557.
Richard Springham Vicar of Selborne
Richard Boughton Vicar of Selborne
William Inkforbye the first vicar of Selborne to be married
Thomas Phippes vicar of Selborne
Ralph Austine vicar of Selborne
John Longworth Vicar of Selborne
John Ferrol Vicar of Selborne
1633 - 1657
Longworth was deprived of his Selborne living in 1657 because his religious practices did not agree with those of the Commonwealth, and John Ferrol was appointed by Magdalen College in his stead. Longworth continued to live in Selborne, and made a living from the kindness of villagers and by seling herbs. But Ferrol did not last as vicar very long, and with the Restoration Longworth was reappointed. See 'Notes on some of the vicars of Selborne'.
Clock installed, wound every day until 1989 when new winding gear installed. Bill Andrews wound it daily until he retired in 1976. See 'Revd Sunderland's notes about history'. Richard Byfield vicar of Selborne
Richard Byfield was Vicar for only 16 months, but "he left eighty pounds by will to be applied to apprentice out poor children" (Gilbert White). This charity is still in existence. Byfield was vicar for only 16 months.
Church clock installed, converted to a pendulum-controlled movement in 1711. The dial has only one hand, and is now wound electrically.
Vicar Byfield's Will established the Byfield Charity with £80 for the poor and needy. See 'Church History - Natalie'. Barnabas Long appointed vicar of Selborne
The living was in such low estimation in Magdalen College that it descended to a junior fellw, Gilbert White M.A.' (GW) This was Gilbert White the naturalist's grandfather who remained the vicar of Selborne until his death in 1720.
Foundation of Selborne School by vicar Gilbert White, grandfather of the naturalist
The church and the chancel were 'ceiled in the year 1683; before which they were open to the tiles and shingles, showing the naked rafters, and threatening the congregation with the fall of a spar or a blow from a piece of loose mortar'. GW Antiquities
The roof of the north aisle 'was sloped and in the north transept a large triple shortened ...over it was opened a round one of considerable size, which affords an agreeable light, and renders the chantry the mostcheerful part of the edifice' (GW). Originally the north aisle had a flat roof covered with lead and was only about 9 ft high. ' Within a century past, a churchwarden stripping off the lead, in order as he said, to have it mended, sold it to a pluber and ran away with the money'. GW
William Henry Cane, BD appointed vicar of Selborne
Gable end of the south aisle repaired under the will of Gilbert White senior under direction of his widow, Rebecca Luckin. Buttresses added to south aisle. See 'Revd Sunderland's notes about history' and 'GW's bequest for repairs'
Another bell added to the original ring of three. 'The old bells, three in number, loud and out of tune, were taken down in 1735 and cast into four, to which Sir Simeon Stuart, the grandfather of the present baronet (of Hartley Maudit) added a fifthe at his own expense .... The day of the arrival of this tuneable peal lwas observed as a high festival by the village, and rendered more joyous, by an order from the donor, that the treble bells should be fixed bottom uppward in the ground and filled with punch, of which all present were permitted to partake' GW.
Vicar White left £40 in his Will for 'strengthening and securing such parts of the church as seem decaying and dangerous .... With this sum two large buttresses were erected to support the east end of the south wall of the church; and the gable end wall of the west end of the south aisle was new built from the ground' GW. The final cost of the work was £43.17s.21/2.
Duncombe Bristowe, DD vicar of Selborne
Dr Bristow's Will in which he left money to the church for a gallery (£30) , and for 'cloathing' the poor (£10) and (£10) for bread. Also a mahogany table (altar). Andrew Etty appointed vicar of Selborne
Andrew Etty was vicar and 'wainscotted up to the bottom of the windows, the whole of the chancel, to the neatness and decentness of which he always paid the most exact attention'. GW. Andrew Etty's Will also paid for a new Altar and congtributed £10 for the erection of the Gallery.
A lead basin installed for the Norman font see 'Revd Sunderland's notes about history'
Church gallery constructed 'for the sole use of singers' GW, a gift of Dr Bristow. It cost £30 and was at the west end of the church, erected so that children and the poor could be accommodated in the church. Anyone who had contributed to the cost was allowed to sit in the front row when the gallery was first planned.
The wainscotting in the chancel was installed.
Tower repairs see 'Revd Sunderland's notes about history'. The tower battlements were removed and the height reduced and the whole rendered with stucco because the local stone was not weathering well.
Christopher Taylor BD or vicar of Selborne
Arms of King George III installed, costing £4.4s.10d.
Painting donated by Benjamin White in memory of his brother - artist either Jan Mostaert or Joos Van Cleef. See 'Article by MC re painting' in Church Furnishings entitled 'The Selborne Triptych'. See also Painting attribution 22.12.33 Joost van Cleef
end 18C Chancel wainscoted. Main altar rails moved to south aisle. See 'S Church in 18C and vicars'. Many more details about 18C repairs and fabric
John Covey BD vicar of Selborne
William Alcock vicar of Selborne
New instruments purchased for church band, including a flageolet now in Alton Museum
William Rust Cobbold vicar of Selborne
Parson Cobbold, who had very poor relations with his parishioners, signals that the church roof is in urgent need of repair. Nothing was done, and the vestry continued to dispute with the vicar because they were unwilling to find their share of the money required. The vicar refused to join them in the pub for their meetings which added to the difficulties. See 'Church Roof in urgent need of repair' Parson Cobbold's difficulties with his parishioners arose because of his insistence on his lawful tithe income, paid mostly by the farmers in the parish upon whose land the tithe was based. In 1830 these resentments erupted across the south in a series of riots - the Captain Swing Riots (which had as their basis rural poverty, with attention often focused on the introduction of new labour-saving machinery on the farms) - and in Selborne and in Headley the local poorhouses were attacked. Farmers argued that they could not afford the vicar's tithes and also pay the poor rate to maintain the poor, and demanded that Cobbold lower his expectations. The case went before the law officers in Winchester, but Cobbold never managed to repair relations in Selborne.
Frederick James Parsons vicar of Selborne
Old vicarage in which Gilbert White as born mostly demolished and new vicarage built
1832 - 1877
It appears that nothing was done about the repairs that Cobbold wanted, the project blocked by the money required and the bad relations between the parishioners and the vicar.
1842 -75
Vicar Parsons (1841-75) restored the chancel and rebuilt the arch. In addition the three light east window was installed. He replaced all the existing pews with modern deal ones. In GW's day the pews were in a poor state and it is thought they may have been replaced by box pews. Parsons inserted the wrought iron work in the altar rail which is now in the south aisle. The three decker pulpit was replaced and the gallery taken down by either Vicar Parsons or Vicar BErnard (1875 - 1889). Mr BErnard carried out the work below. Mst importantly the nave and aisle rafters were all replaced, leaving only the chancel with its original rafters, without the original ceiling below.
Death of the trumpeter, John Newland, and burial by the great yew.
Blackmoor Parish created from part of Selborne Parish. See Blackmoor Alteration of Boundaries
EdwardRussel Bernard vicar of Selborne
Before this date the three light east window was installed, the chancel arch was repaired and the south door repaired by Vicar Parsons (1842-1875).
Wood blocks were installed in the floor and old stone reused. The nave roof was repaired and the present seating installed. Changes to the south aisle were made installing some tiles found on site, and spacers for the coffin lids. The north aisle was restored and the north window repaired.
Chancel arch rebuilt by William White, great nephew of Gilbert. He also replaced two windows above the altar with three lancet windows, filled with stained glass in the 1880s. At some point at this time the coved plaster ceiling of the chancel was removed, revealing the medieval rofing timbers and construction.
1833 - 1881
Further repairs were mooted in 1856 and discussions held about raising the necessary money, but the outstanding repairs were not tackled until in 1882. By then some work had been carried out, and a prestigious committee was appointed to raise the money to complete the works to the South Aisle, Chancel and Belfry, under the direction of William White, Architect, a great nephew of Gilbert. See 'Church Repair 1833-1884'. At this point the south aisle roof, the south wall of the south aisle was rebuilt, the south east window was reconstructed, a new lancet was inserted next to the porch, a pit and channels inserted for heating, and the belfry was opened and paved. See 'Church repairs and restoration work 1877 - 1883' . The gallery was removed at this time.
A large amount of restoration work was completed including: demolition of the east and most of the south walls of the south aisle, and rebuilding in the original design. Renewal of the nave king post roof. Renewal of the south aisle ceiling. William White was the architect. At this time the pit and channels for the heating were also installed. See '1883 Account of work done by William White'.
Committee appointed to plan for restoration of chancel, south aisle and belfry. See '1885 Church repairs special committee' including Lord Selborne.
New organ installed and vestry built. Previous organ had been at the west end of the church. Etty gravestones disturbed and incorporated in vestry walls, bones being reburied in the churchyard.
Arthur Kaye vicar of Selborne
Walter Octavius Peile Vicar of Selborne
An appeal launched for repairs to the belfry, not touched since 1735
Alfred Ernest Norman vicar of Selborne
The organ chamber and vestry built.
A new boiler installed for £99.15.0
Another new boiler £67.10.6
The Gilbert White St Francis window was designed by Alexander Gascoyne of Nottingham and was given to the church by the Gilbert White Fellowship.
South aisle tiles relaid and copper fastened for £69.10.6
Retiling and stoke hole chimney £12.6.6.
John Ernest Williamson vicar of Selborne
Repairs to clock £4. to boiler £14. Music Chest £4.
Repairs to boiler £12 and rafter and porch repairs £11.
Lister Goodenough Elton Sunderland Vicar of Selborne
New oak pulpit donated by Selborne Society. Vicar's stall and bench in the chancel made out of the medieval pews. New choir stalls planned - north side commemorating Priest Radford 1049, Bishop William of Wykeham visitation 1387, Bishop Wayneflete. South side Edward the Confessor 1049, Adam De Gurdon 1271. Installed by Revd Sunderland. Priests desk constructed from old oak pews. 3 sets of vestments donated - red, blue and green. 1938 Frontals chest given by Revd Sunderland. Trumpet added to organ £40. See 'New Pulpit and Choir Stalls' and 'Alterations and Additions to the church 1937 - 1991'
Churchyard extended - see 'Alterations and Additions to the church 1937 - 1991'
Eric Ainsworth Rattray Vicar of Selborne
Lord Stamford, of the White family, donated 3 stained glass roundels in the north window (the tracery is Victorian).
John Darlington Vicar of Selborne
The oak memorial screen was erected in the north transept, and the stepped tiered stone floor where paupers and then Sunday School children sat, were removed. The shallow grave against the north wall, first discovered in 1721, was reopened, and is thought to be Adam De Gurdon's. Possibly the north chapel was a chantry built for masses to be said for his soul.
War Memorial Screen dedicated and war memorial chapel formed.
Gift by Lord Stamford of White arms roundel of painted glass
Broadcast of morning service as part of national Nature Weel celebrations.
7th July Evensong commemorating 250 years since Gilbert White's birth.
Robert Charles Henry Corbin Vicar of Selborne
New' Vicarage built
A sixth bell installed and tenor and treble re-cast, under Revd John Curtis. Ladders (probably 300 years old) originally kept in the tower were hung in the south aisle.
Newton Valence, East Tisted and Colemore added to Selborne to created benefice
John Durston Curtis Vicar of Selborne
10th September First performance of A Selborne Story by Mavis Coulson and Natalie Mees
Repairs to the roof (£15,000), including the tower roof, gutters, ivy, lightning conductors etc. excluding south aisle, chancel. Work includes stripping, retiling and re-slating, using sound existing tiles and slates and replacing broken ones with good second-hand ones, did not include the roof over the south aisle, the south side of the chancel and the tower, which were done not long ago and are in sound condition.
James Frederick Wale Anderson Vicar of Selborne
A new set of vestments and altar frontal made by Alton nuns. See 'Altar Service book bought by Sunderland from onion growing 1943'
Printed Victorian Prayer book back in use - Alton Herald. Also known as 'The Vegetable Growers' Prayer Book' donated by Reverend Sunderland. See 'Altar Service book bought by Sunderland from onion growing 1943'.
Presentation of celebration earthernware by Wakes trustees to mark Quincentary of priory dissolution
Clock repair. The clock dates from the 17th century and is believed to be the oldest in Hampshire, and it will cost £3786 to repair, including the installation of electric winding.
A total of £1747 has already been raised in the village in memory of the late Bill Andrews who wound the clock daily for 25 years. The clock was working until 1970. The clock was repaired and works well.
Visit by Dr Runcie - Archbishop of Canterbury
The Selborne Yew blown over in a gale on 25th January A number of graves were found underneath and great efforts by experts and villagers to right the tree and later to ensure its survival.
New hassocks designed by Hilda Frank (of Primrose Cottage, Gracious St) and stitched by members of the congregation
Addition of new organ pipes and additional organ stop
Installation of font cover made from Selborne yew wood in memory of Mariel and Robin Rodger, made by John Nicholson, Mariel's son.
Lighting improvements, sensors in church and above vicar's desk to be installed. D
Gilbert White Memorial Window installed see 'GW Memorial Window' and 'Stained glass St Francis and 1993 window'. Bishop of Winchester conducted a festal Evensong during a weekend of celebration for the bicentenary of Gilbert White's death.
Altar dossal in memory of Major and Mrs Fryer, 9 Acres, returned to Turner Bridger family
A new lamp designed by Lady Hill-Norton of Newton Valence for the porch of the church
Priory tiles installed by south altar see 'Priory tiles parish mag 1994'
Various repairs made, new west door rejected (recommended on sectury grounds), guttering, lead valley, faculty for roof repairs, rainwater drainage repairs, and external decoration. Quote £14,584 plus VAT. Contractor M Buckland. EJ Sealy Architect comments 1.July 1994 that the cracks in the chancel should not cause concern.
Creation of store cupboards and sink in north aisle by Bill Andrews
Electrical wiring improvements replacing old fuseboxes and installing circuit breakers, installing flood lighting outside,.
South Altar created from wood from the Selborne Yew
John Preston Vicar of Selborne
Patronage of the Newton Valence and Selborne with East Tisted and Colemore Benefice transferred to the executors off Sir James Scott.
Extension of chancel steps and installation of rails.
Completion of church extension, lavatory and store.
Anthony Pears Vicar of Selborne and Rector of new Northanger Benefice, nine parishes and 11 churches. Chawton, Farringdon, East Tisted with Colemore, Newton Valence, Selborne, Oakhanger, Kingsley, West Worldham with Hartley Maudit and East Worldham
Dedication of two new bells by Bishop of Basingstoke. Funds raised by the bell ringers.
HLF and church fundraising funded stone repairs including repair and releading of the south aisle south west window and internal refurbishment of the porch.
Church path relaid to improve wheelchair access
Improvements to tower access

Next Services

26th May 2024 at 10:00am
Holy Communion & Baptism

Rev. Lesley Leon