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Westbury White Horse, Westbury

(4.4/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
The Westbury or Bratton White Horse is a hill figure on the escarpment of Salisbury Plain, approximately 1.5mi east of Westbury in England. Located on the edge of Bratton Downs and lying just below an Iron Age hill fort, it is the oldest of several white horses carved in Wiltshire. It was restored in 1778, an action which may have obliterated a previous horse which had occupied the same slope. A contemporary engraving of the 1760s appears to show a horse facing in the opposite direction, and also rather smaller than the present figure. However, there is at present no documentary or other evidence for the existence of a chalk horse at Westbury before the year 1742.The horse is 180 feet tall and 170 feet wide and is a symbol for the town of Westbury, appearing on welcome signs and in the logo for its tourist information centre. It is also considered a symbol for Wiltshire as a whole.OriginsThe origin of the Westbury White Horse is obscure. It is often claimed to commemorate King Alfred's victory at the Battle of Eðandun in 878, and while this is not impossible, there is no trace of such a legend before the second half of the eighteenth century. It should also be noted that the battle of Eðandun has only tentatively been identified with Edington in Wiltshire.Another white horse, the Uffington White Horse, featured in King Alfred's earlier life. He was born in the Vale of White Horse, not far from Uffington. Unlike Westbury, documents as early as the eleventh century refer to the "White Horse Hill" at Uffington ("mons albi equi"), and archaeological evidence has dated the Uffington White Horse to the Bronze Age, although it is not certain that it was originally intended to represent a horse.
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TripAdvisor
  • plenty of free parking. Room to fly the kites! great views, good walks.Ice cream vendor in the summer months. No toilets! can be a problem. Watch out where you walk,some lazy dog walkers do not pick u...  more »
  • There is loads of space to run around and play games without the fear of cars driving by, as they have to be in a designated parking area. You can walk along the path to the top of the horse and you c...  more »
  • I married a lovely lady from Chapmanslade 28 years ago. Despite often looking at the WWH, I had never visited. The reason? Well I'm from North Yorkshire and we have a far superior white horse at Sutto...  more »