Tucked away in the hills of Oxfordshire, England, amid the upper slopes of the unassuming parish of Uffington, lies a series of winding trenches filled with crushed white chalk. Standing between the scoured lines offers only a hint of what their elegant convergence conveys from afar: a stylised image of a horse, its sinewy, curlicue limbs outstretched in mid-gallop.
Some 365 feet in length from head to tail, the White Horse of Uffington isn’t the only equine hill figure in England, but it is thought to be the most ancient, although its exact date and origin have been a point of controversy for many years. It has often been suggested that the horse was carved to celebrate King Alfred’s victory over the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown (now Uffington Castle) in 871AD. However, in the absence of evidence many experts regard this as little more than folklore. Keep reading