Wednesday, 23 June 2010

W is for...

White Horse of Cherhill

This horse can be found about 3,5 miles east of Calne in the county of Wiltshire in England. It dates from the late eighteenth century and is the third oldest in Great Britain.

It was first cut in 1780 by a Dr Christopher Alsop who cut away the turf to reveal the white chalk underneath. Dr Alsop was also known as the mad doctor and according to legend, he shouted his directions to the making of the horse through a megaphone from quite a distance!

If left alone those white horses will soon be covered by grass and weeds again, so they have to be 'scoured' on occasion to keep them white. In 2002 major works were carried out: the outline was traced anew, shuttering was put in place to prevent the chalky soil eroding away and tons of new chalk were added (this photo dates from 1993/4).

Some of the horses found in Great Britain have a 'historic meaning', others were just made to be a bit of fun. The most common chalk figures are horses, but there are also a few men around.

For more W-words from around the world, please check out ABC Wednesday and join in the fun!


  1. This "W" is sooo cool! Thanks for the marvelous share!

  2. Your letter tidbits are always so interesting. Keep it up!

  3. A white horse! I used to live in a village that had a white horse on one of its hills. Don't have a photo of it though. Great post again Mara. A

  4. Gotta love it. Leave it up to the quirky Brits to leave horses strewn about.

  5. How artistic. Now everyone can enjoy the doctor's mad creation.

  6. Great post for the W day! Different, clever and a lovely, white horse! Hope your week is going well!


  7. Interesting! Horses whitened onto hillsides is somewhat romantic. Thank you for sharing your world this Wednesday!

  8. very pastoral.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  9. I think it's Wonderful that people take the time to preserve such a unique, unusual creation. It would be so easy to just let Mother Nature reclaim the land. Quite a testament to the village.


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!