In Wiltshire, Near Stonehenge, the ground is made of white chalk rather than the typical brown dirt. This is evident along hiking trails, where the treaded pathway is white. This means that you can create large lines and pattern them in recognizable figures. It was not rocket science to figure out that chalked figures were visible for miles, and three thousand years ago, the outlines of a horse were set in a hillside in Uffington. Thousands of years later, people decided to continue a tradition of creating white horses on hillsides even as recent as this century. The difference between the ancient horse and the modern ones is how they were created. The ancient horse's lines were dug as a trench and then chalk was used to fill in the trench. The modern ones are worn from the surface of the land.
The modern horses were built after the late 1700s and range in date up to the millennium horse cut in 2000 shown in google maps ont he left. Community groups help to maintain the horses so that they can be enjoyed by generations. Only for a while, during W.W.II, they were covered up so as not to be seen from 'the enemy' above and used as landmarks.
There are several ways to visit the 8 horses in Wiltshire, including a 90 mile hike (estimated at 6 or days), or by car and taking a lot of side roads. Additional information on the horses or the hike can be found at www.wiltshiretourism.co.uk and by the Wiltshire Walking and Cycling Hotline at 01980 623255 for the White Horse Trail pack.
Cherhill White Horse
In 1870, Dr. Alsop shouted instructions from the main road through a megaphone to the builders of this horse. We arrived early in the morning on a typical rainy/foggy day, so the photo is not the greatest, but it does give you an idea of the size of the artwork.
Beneath the grass in this area lies white chalk rather than the expected brown dirt, which made these landmarks possible. You will also notice that hiking trails leave a white scar on the land where many others have walked before.
If you an find where Maiden Lane or Park Lane is off the A4, then you are close by and the horse is on the other side of the A4 from Park Lane.
Pewsey White Horse
Not all of the horses are easily visible at all times of the year. We drove past this one several times before a man pruning his hedges pointed it out.
Marlborough White Horse
Near Preschute Lane, it is on the other side of a track field.