February 27, 2013

5 Bratton White Horse


When I first read about the chalk horses scattered around Great Britain, I was of course, intrigued. I can't remember where I first heard about them; perhaps Atlas Obscura (a collection of some of the world's greatest and most fascinating wonders- I found The Garden of Cosmic Speculation on there!) but I'm not certain.

I digress, though. The Bratton White Horse, also known as the Westbury White Horse, is located in the Salisbury Plain. I found the approximate location in our English Heritage guide and it was mostly on the route between Salisbury and Avebury, so Paul wasn't too annoyed by my fascination with this particular weird and wonderful (he's not as keen on jumping at any festival or strange site).
But anyway. Chalk horses and other hill figures have a murky and vague history; some are prehistoric and others are quite modern, but done in a sort of homage or re-creation of the older ones.  The usual method is to cut away the top soil and expose the chalk layer, which requires maintenance over time.
As for the Bratton Horse specifically, he was excavated and restored in the 18th century. The current shape has been altered from the ancient form, even turned to face the opposite direction, and was just restored again a few years ago.

We didn't walk over to the figure due to time, but the view we got wasn't too bad, I think!


5 comments:

  1. That's enormous... and pretty impressive. People must really treasure it if they're willing to restore it over and over!

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  2. they turned it to face the other direction? WHY.

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  3. I love the weird things around in the British countryside, me and my brother would always look out for horses when we were driving around in the summer!

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