Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gilbert White's Window at Selborne

I have something of a weakness for good stained glass as longtime readers of the blog will know. This window, however, has the advantage of having literary connections as well. If you live in this little part of the world, you can't help by have heard of Gilbert White, the sometime Vicar of Selborne in Hampshire and the man often credited as being the first 'ecologist'. His book The Natural History of Selborne is a must-have of any natural history book collection and I think I am right in saying it hasn't been out of print since it was first published in 1789.  And so, it's not surprising to find, in his own church, in Selborne a beautiful window commemorating the 200th year since his birth in 1920.

This window is on the appropriate subject of St Francis Preaching to the Birds and was designed by Alexander Gascoyne and made by Horace T. Hincks of the firm Hincks and Burnell in Nottingham. The window contains 120 individual bird portraits of 60 different species. Stained glass is notoriously difficult to photograph but I hope these, particularly when you click on them and enlarge them, will show just what a stunning piece of art this is.

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