White Horses Around Marlborough
Of the thirteen white horses carved into hillsides across Wiltshire, eight are still visible and of these the Marlborough White Horse is the smallest. Measuring 62 feet in length and 47 feet high, it is situated on a shallow slope of Graham Hill adjacent to the Marlborough College playing fields. It is often mistakenly believed that the horse was carved by pupils from the college, but in fact it was the work of boys from Mr Greasley's Academy on the High Street where the Ivy House Hotel stands today.
Designed by William Canning, a pupil from Greasley's Academy, the horse was cut in 1803 and it became an annual school tradition to 'scour' or clean up the horse, an event usually accompanied by much revelry. Bordered by mature trees, it is not easy to get distant views of the horse but it is best glimpsed from the footpath which runs from Preshute Hill to the A345. SN8 1PA
Better views can be had of the Pewsey White Horse. Situated on a good slope facing Pewsey Vale and the Alton Barnes white horse, it can be easily be found eight miles along the A345 from Marlborough, a mere 15 minute drive from town. Once here
you are deep in corn circle country, the ancient landscape steeped in pagan lore and legend. The current white horse was cut in 1937 by volunteers from the Pewsey Fire Brigade to commemorate the coronation of George Vl. Pewsey once had a much older, 18th Century horse situated nearby which fell into disrepair and has now disappeared under grass. SN9 5AF
It is often assumed that white horses have ancient significance but in fact most of those found in Wiltshire have been carved in the last three hundred years. But just over the border in Oxfordshire lies the most famous horse of them all, the Uffington
White Horse on the ancient, rolling downland of White Horse Hill. The village of Uffington is just off the B4507, south of the A420 between Swindon and Oxford. At over 360 feet long and approximately 3000 years old, the Uffington White Horse is an officially designated ancient monument and is managed by the National Trust. It's a good old hike to get up there, but well worth the climb. SN7 7UK.