Up close and personal with the Alton Barnes White Horse

While there is evidence of hill carvings from the Bronze Age, the Wiltshire white horses are relatively young. Generally created by removing sod and soil to expose the underlying chalk, they require on- going maintenance or will disappear. The oldest confirmed white horse still visible dates from the 1700s. There are varied suggested reasons for their creation, from sacred, to memorial, to tourism, to my personal favourite, an early form of graffiti. The Alton Barnes White Horse was cut in 1812, commissioned by a local farmer. It has been regularly maintained since then and has become a significant tourist attraction. Our walk to see the white horse up close and personal, took us over the downs around Milk Hill, briefly along the 35- mile (56 km)-long Wansdyke -- thought to be a defensive earthwork built by native Britons to defend themselves against Anglo-Saxon territorial expansion --, past the ears of the horse, to the top of Adam’s Grave (an ancient long barrow), and down to the small village of Alton Priors. The up close and personal with the horse was disappointing, but the walk was great and feeling that we had earned it, we rewarded ourselves with lunch at the Seven Stars Inn on our way back to the cottage.
A Sense of Place:  Travel, Photography, and Photo-art
by David E. Moon
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved
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Up close and personal with the Alton Barnes

White Horse

While there is evidence of hill carvings from the Bronze Age, the Wiltshire white horses are relatively young. Generally created by removing sod and soil to expose the underlying chalk, they require on-going maintenance or will disappear. The oldest confirmed white horse still visible dates from the 1700s. There are varied suggested reasons for their creation, from sacred, to memorial, to tourism, to my personal favourite, an early form of graffiti. The Alton Barnes White Horse was cut in 1812, commissioned by a local farmer. It has been regularly maintained since then and has become a significant tourist attraction. Our walk to see the white horse up close and personal, took us over the downs around Milk Hill, briefly along the 35- mile (56 km)-long Wansdyke -- thought to be a defensive earthwork built by native Britons to defend themselves against Anglo-Saxon territorial expansion --, past the ears of the horse, to the top of Adam’s Grave (an ancient long barrow), and down to the small village of Alton Priors. The up close and personal with the horse was disappointing, but the walk was great and feeling that we had earned it, we rewarded ourselves with lunch at the Seven Stars Inn on our way back to the cottage.
A Sense of Place:  Travel, Photography, and Photo-art
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved
Slideshow Slideshow