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Uffington White  Horse

832 of 1157 nominations


Uffington White  Horse

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Uffington White Horse

On the Berkshire downs near the village of Uffington, is a mysterious 365 foot long figure of a galloping horse. England has many chalk figures, yet the Uffington White Horse is the only one proven to be of prehistoric origin. In the 1990s, it was dated using a new technique called optical stimulated thermoluminescence, which reveals when buried soil was last exposed to light. This showed that it is around 3,000 years old, and dates from the late Bronze Age.

The purpose of this horse, with its stylised and disconnected limbs, remains a mystery. It may be that it was made by the local tribe as an emblem marking their territory, for it can be seen from up to twenty miles away. It may have had a religious purpose, for horses were sacred to a number of ancient British gods. The Uffington villagers, who regularly scoured the figure until the late nineteenth century, claimed that it was not a horse at all, but the dragon killed by Saint George.

White Horse Hill, Uffington Copyright NTPL www.nationaltrust.org.uk


Your comments

No where else in the world has chalk hill horses, and no such figure is more mysterious or spectacular as this. Is it even a horse? It looks more like a dog or even a dragon than a horse. To add to the mystery you can't even see the whole of the horse from one view, you have to move your viewpoint.

Peter Bennett

It's one of the most striking graphic images in the world, instantly recognisable. At the same time, it's a totem of local (yokel) identity, of continuity belonging to all the waves of migrants who have inhabited the area. The Swindon-based band XTC made it more widely-known on the cover of 'English Settlement' though pedantically it is not English as it is pre-Celtic.
Peeping Pom

The white horse I have seen in many documentaries and I agree with ley, that the horse is as much a tribute to the moon as stonehenge is to the sun. I'm doing an assignment about stonhenge, and reading ley's comments have acctually helped me alot. Thanks Ley! I'll use your theory in my assignment. Roxanne

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer