"SELBORNE, a parish in the hundred of Selborne, county Hants, 4½ miles S.E. of Alton, its post town, and 52 S.W. of London. The village is situated on a stream which flows from Nore Hill to the river Wey, and is chiefly agricultural. Prior to the Norman conquest the manor belonged to Queen Editha, and was held in royal demesne. In 1232 an Austin priory was founded here by Peter de Rupibus, Bishop of Winchester, but was subsequently suppressed, and the site given by William of Waynflete to Magdalen College, Oxford. It was formerly a market town, and a place of considerable importance. The parish contains the hamlets of Norton, Oakhanger, and Temple, at which latter place resided the freebooter Sir Adam Gordon in the reign of Henry III., and who was taken by Edward I. when prince, in 1266. There is a large military encampment, which has been formed out of a portion of Woolmer Forest in this parish. A portion of the land is in hop grounds, and the remainder arable and sheep walks.
The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Winchester, and in the patronage of Magdalen College, Oxford. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient structure. The interior contains an altar piece by Albert Darer, representing the offerings of the Magi, and presented by B. White in 1793, also a tablet to the Rev. G. White, author of "The Natural History of Selborne," and similar works, who was born here in 1720. The parochial charities produce about £8 per annum. There is a National school, also a place of worship for the Independents. At Frinsham Pond, in this parish, the very rare long-legged plover was shot in 1779. The president and fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford, are lords of the manor. "NORTON, a hamlet in the parish of Selborne, county Hants, 3 miles S. of Alton. "OAKHANGER, a hamlet in the parish of Selborne, county Hants, 4 miles S.E, of Alton. "TEMPLE, a hamlet in the parish of Selborne, county Hants, 4 miles S.E. of Alton. It was made a grange to Southington preceptory by Adam Gordon the outlaw, who was eventually captured here in single combat by Edward I., when prince, in 1266."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]