THE FULL FIELD
A potted history of all eight chalk gee-gees on
The Westbury Horse,
the oldest of the eight, was cut in a ‘naturalistic’ style in 1778, covering a smaller, right-facing, stylised and likely Bronze Age horse. Sited below the Iron Age Bratton Camp, the horse was concreted over in the 1950s to make it easier to maintain. Best seen from the B3098 in the Pewsey Valley.
The Devizes Horse
is a mere foal, as it was cut in 1999 to celebrate the Millennium. The only extant Wiltshire horse to face right, its design is taken from a leftfacing horse cut into a nearby hillside in the 1840s by local shoemakers. Best seen from Folly Road running north from Devizes to Roundway.
The Broad Town Horse,
when newly scoured white, can be seen from over ten miles away. The most reliable account claims it was cut by landowner William Simmonds in 1864, though it was nearly lost after being covered over during the Second World War. The lanes around Broad Town give the clearest view.
The Hackpen Horse
(also called the Broad Hinton Horse) is on a slope below the Ridgeway and can be seen from the road from Broad Town, and from along the Avebury to Swindon road, but loses its proportions the closer you get. Likely cut in 1838 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s coronation.
The Cherhill Horse
is well-sited on a steep slope of Cherhill Down, near an Iron Age fort. Though regularly scoured and well kept, its eye, once made of bottles to catch the sun, has been replaced by stones. It’s best seen from the layby on the A4 halfway between Avebury and Calne.