Cherhill White horse
The Westbury White Horse in 1772 (Top) and as re-cut in 1778 (Bottom) as
illustrated by Plenderleath.
Westbury White Horse
The history of the white horses is an issue of some debate, in particular with
regard to Westbury which
is the oldest of Wiltshire’s horses. The site is known to have been restored in
1778 but the date of the original work remains largely a matter of conjecture.
Many believe the initial carving was made to commemorate Alfred’s victory over
the Danes at the battle of Ethandune in 878. However, historians can not even
agree whether this battle took place in the immediate vicinity; although some
associate Ethandune with the nearby village of Edington.
The white horses to be found in Wiltshire are:
– 1778 ,Oldbury or Cherhill – 1780 ,Pewsey – 1785
Marlbourough or Preshute – 1804 (renovated 1873) ,Alton Barnes – 1812 ,Broad
Hinton or Hackpen – 1838 , Devizes – 1845 , Broad Town – 1863 , Ham Hill or
Inkpen – 1860s ,Pewsey – 1937