Southdown, Roundway, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 2HY
Tel: 01380 726830 | Mob: 07810 898846
The White Horse Trail is named for the chalk figures carved into the hills. Some
are easier to spot than others – a spate of fast-
Wiltshire’s White Horses
The ALTON BARNES HORSE can be found between Walkers Hill and Milk Hill in the Pewsey Down Nature Reserve, close to Adam’s Grave, another long barrow. This is one of the highest points in Wiltshire with magnificent views and the horse can be seen from 22miles away! The Horse was cut in 1812 and measures 49 by 55 metres. It was paid for by Robert Pile from Manor Farm – who ended up paying twice because the first contractor absconded with the money.
The BROAD TOWN HORSE is thought to date from 1864, measures 24½ by 18 metres and although visible from 20 miles, is best viewed from the village of Broad Town. It was camouflaged during WW2 and uncovered in 1945 and is now maintained by The Broad Town White Horse Restoration Society.
The CHERHILL HORSE is the second largest and second oldest in the county, cut in 1780 and measuring 39 metres nose to tail and 43 ear to hoof. It can be visible from an impressive 30 miles and lies beneath an Iron Age hill fort, Oldbury Castle. This Horse was cut to directions called out from below, ensuring it looks good from the ground. Close to the Horse is the Lansdowne Column, built in 1845 by the 3rd Marquis of Lansdowne who lived at nearby Bowood House, from where it can be seen.
The DEVIZES HORSE is on Roundway Hill & was cut to celebrate the new millennium.
There was an earlier horse (Snob’s) below the hill fort of nearby Oliver’s Castle,
being was cut in 1845 but by the end of the century had grown over. It was occasionally
visible and was spotted in 1954 by schoolboy Peter Greed, who made a drawing of his
own design. Over 50 years later a mirror image of his drawing was used to re-
Hackpen Hill lies below The Ridgeway on the edge of the Marlborough Downs and affords wonderful views of the Wiltshire countryside. Its Horse is know as the HACKPEN, BROAD HINTON or WINTERBOURNE BASSETT HORSE and was cut in 1838, probably to commemorate Queen Victoria’s coronation. Measuring 27½ by 27½ metres, it can sometimes be seen from as far as the downs near the Cherhill horse but only when newly scoured.
Less easily visible is the MARLBOROUGH (or PRESHUTE) HORSE, far smaller at 19 metres nose to tail and 14½ metres ear to hoof. It lies just above the village of Preshute and was designed by a pupil at a local school in 1804, well before Marlborough College was built in 1843 but is now maintained by the College.
The PEWSEY HORSE is on Pewsey Hill and also overlooks the Vale of Pewsey. This horse was cut in 1937 to replace (but not cover) an earlier version which had become completely overgrown, to commemorate George VI’s coronation. It measures 29½ metres nose to tail and 10½ metres ear to hoof.
The oldest Wiltshire horse is the WESTBURY (or BRATTON) HORSE, sited on a very steep slope with magnificent views of the Vale of Pewsey below and Bratton Camp, an Iron Age hill fort above. Like others, the present horse covers an earlier example, and dates from 1778. At 55½ metres from nose to tail and 33 metres from ear to hoof, it is also the largest and can be seen from 20 miles on a clear day.