Bonus Post: The White Horse of Uffington

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Hi, this is Mr. Folklore. Mr. Nature dragged me out of the broom closet to tell you about this.

The Uffington White Horse adorns a hilltop in Oxfordshire, England. It’s some 300 feet long (sorry, I don’t go in for that metric stuff), and was made by digging its shape about three feet into the earth and filling the trenches with crushed chalk. And the people in the area, for hundreds of years, periodically clear it of vegetation and replenish the chalk.

Legend has the White Horse connected with King Alfred, but it was already a thousand years old when Alfred came along. No one knows who created it, or why. Boundary marker? Propaganda? Religious symbol? In the absence of written records, it’s anybody’s theory. All that can be said for sure is that the horse has been there since long before the Romans came to Britain. Its artistic style, though, resembles the somewhat abstract depiction of horses on pre-Roman British coins.

Before there were airplanes, the best way to see the horse was from another hilltop. No one has yet suggested that the horse was carved into the top of a hill so that aliens could see it from their spacecraft. I will not be the first to make that suggestion.

8 comments on “Bonus Post: The White Horse of Uffington

  1. What always amazes me about any of these earth drawings is how, at ground level, anyone can maintain shape and proportional perspective without being able to see it from a raised position.

    1. They probably had someone standing on the top of the hill, and a line of people strung out between him and the artist/s, relaying instructions 😉

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