This is the heart of rural England and the horse is one of the country’s most recognizable landmarks, an identity badge stamped into the landscape. Across the flank of the hill runs an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut from the chalk itself. The Uffington White Horse The Uffington White Horse is the oldest known white horse hill carving in England. In the 1990s, he led an excavation of the site that established the prehistoric date for the horse. It has been maintained by periodic shaping and filling of the design with fresh chalk rocks. White Horse Hill is actually a collection of three prehistoric sites owned by English Heritage and managed by The National Trust: Uffington ‘Castle’, Dragon Hill, and White Horse Hill. Earth Mysteries - The Uffington White Horse, https://fr.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cheval_blanc_d%27Uffington&oldid=173689084, Propriété du National Trust dans l'Oxfordshire, Page avec coordonnées similaires sur Wikidata, Article contenant un appel à traduction en anglais, Catégorie Commons avec lien local identique sur Wikidata, Article de Wikipédia avec notice d'autorité, Portail:Sciences humaines et sociales/Articles liés, licence Creative Commons attribution, partage dans les mêmes conditions, comment citer les auteurs et mentionner la licence. Kilburn White Horse (Dreamstime) The largest and most northerly hill figure in England, the Kilburn White Horse was carved into a chalk hill in the North York Moors National Park by a local resident who had been inspired after visiting the White Horse at Uffington. I’m a neo-Pagan and I feel it connects me to the land. Date of experience: March 2019. “It looks like it’s bounding across the hillside. Hammers, buckets of chalk and kneepads are handed out and everyone is allocated an area. 8 news items, 91 images, 15 fieldnotes, 6 pieces of folklore, 15 weblinks, plus information on many more ancient sites nearby and across the UK & Ireland. Kings, saints, goddesses, fire-breathing dragons and a giant horse… Uffington in south Oxfordshire is one of the most intriguing and atmospheric places in Britain. The people who come to the chalking have a variety of motivations. The Uffington White Horse is another chalk figure, but it dates from a much earlier period. It has long been debated whether the chalk figure is intended to represent a horse or some other animal. This large figure has seen little new interpretation since the early twentieth century. The oldest and most famous hill figure in England is the 110 m long and 40 m high Uffington White Horse, located 2.5 km south of the village of Uffington on the Berkshire Downs, Oxfordshire. From the start the horse would have required regular upkeep to stay visible. In the past, thousands of people would come for the scouring, holding a fair in the circle of a prehistoric fort nearby. Privacy Statement California Do Not Sell My Info If you look at it from below, the sun rises from behind it and crosses over it. “We’re really excited that we’re cleaning the eye today. A short walk away you will find Wayland’s Smithy and ancient long Barrow site. The Berkshire Downs where the horse lies are scattered with prehistoric remains. Le Cheval blanc a toujours été régulièrement entretenu. Discover Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire, England: The granddaddy of English geoglyphs dates back to the late Bronze Age. Uffington Horse (White Horse) This gigantic earthwork best known as the “Uffington Horse,” is located on a hillside in Oxfordshire, England, and dates to the Bronze age. Before the excavation, it was thought that the design was only scratched into the chalk surface, and therefore un-datable, but Miles’ team discovered the figure was actually cut into the hill up to a meter deep. The site is maintained by English Heritage, access via the Ridgeway (Tel: 0870 333 1181) Ashdown House is a nearby 17th century chalk house in Lambourne, RG17 8RE. (Oxford is about a 30-minute drive and London about an hour-and-a-half.). Helpful. My home is in Uffington, Oxfordshire, under the oldest white horse chalk figure, which has inspired my ‘Uffington White Horse’ range of tableware. 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A chalk hill figure requires a social group to maintain it, and it could be that today’s cleaning is an echo of an early ritual gathering that was part of the horse’s original function. Measuring some 374 feet in length, the stylised image was created by digging trenches into the earth some ten feet wide, exposing the white chalk bedrock below. Unlike other, more realistic chalk horses inscribed on England's hillsides (yes there are several), the Uffington figure appears to be in motion, almost flying over the hill. Lynda Miller is working on the eye, a circle the size of a car wheel. “We already knew it must be ancient, because it’s mentioned in the 12th-century manuscript The Wonders of Britain, so it was obviously old then. “It’s good to be able to explain to them why it’s here.” For Geoff Weaver, it’s the imperative to preserve history. It is best seen from the air or … Read more. The horse is one of many chalk figures scatted across the English countryside. Le site, propriété du National Trust, est considéré comme un « site archéologique majeur »[1]. It’s of great spiritual significance,” she says. If you stand in the valley near the village of Uffington in Oxfordshire, England, and look up at the high curve of chalk grassland above you, one thing dominates the view. During World War II, it was covered over with turf and hedge trimmings so Luftwaffe bombers couldn’t use it for navigation. We used to make a wish on it.”, National Trust ranger Andy Foley hands out hammers. Daté du bronze final, il offre une représentation schématique du cheval avec un corps allongé et des jambes disjointes, très proche de ce que l'on peut observer sur les pièces de monnaie celtiques[5]. The trenches would have been dug out using antler picks and wooden spades: tough, labor-intensive work. The Uffington White Horse is a highly stylised prehistoric hill figure, 374 feet (110 m) long, formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. Carved into the chalk of a hillside in southern England, the Uffington White Horse is utterly unique. This unique stylized representation of a horse consists of a long sleek back, thin disjointed legs, a streaming tail, and bird-like beaked head. Tradition claims the bare chalk patch on the top of the hill to have been caused by the blood spilled when St. George slew the dragon. Terms of Use When I was a little girl and I came here with my mother and father, the eye was a special spot. Uffington ‘Castle’, which occupies the summit of Whitehorse Hill, is a rare and outstanding example of a large Iron Age hillfort. La population locale participe à l'organisation et au financement de cet entretien : ainsi, une restauration a été organisée en juin 2000[2] et le tracé est régulièrement entretenu par des volontaires qui frottent la surface du sol pour désherber et le blanchir avec de la craie[7]. “It’s a beautiful shape, very elegant,” says Miles. Le Cheval blanc d'Uffington est la représentation d'une silhouette chevaline de très grande taille creusée dans la partie supérieure d'une colline de craie qui fait partie de l'escarpement des Berkshire Downs et donne sur le Val du Cheval blanc au nord, dans le comté d'Oxfordshire en Angleterre. It might seem strange that the horse’s creators chose such an unstable form for their monument, but archaeologists believe this could have been intentional. Lucy Bartholomew has brought her children. It came out as the beginning of the Iron Age, perhaps even the end of the Bronze Age, nearly 3,000 years ago.”. La première référence au cheval proprement dit, par les bénédictins d'Abingdon Abbey, date de 1190[2]. This is the Uffington White Horse, the oldest of the English hill figures. Uffington White Horse. Le Cheval blanc d'Uffington est la représentation d'une silhouette chevaline de très grande taille creusée dans la partie supérieure d'une colline de craie qui fait partie de l'escarpement des Berkshire Downs et donne sur le Val du Cheval blanc au nord, dans le comté d'Oxfordshire en Angleterre. This gigantic chalk figure carved into a hillside is Britain's oldest. Owned by the National Trust. It’s a 3,000-year-old pictogram the size of a football field and visible from 20 miles away. The Ridgeway, Britain’s oldest road, runs nearby. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. It is believed to have been carved into the hillside near the town of Uffington, in Oxfordshire, sometime during the late Bronze Age, between 1380 B.C. Chalking or “scouring” the horse was already an ancient custom when antiquarian Francis Wise wrote about it in 1736. From this long distance, the horse is a tiny white figure prancing timelessly across the brow of the hill. That meant it was possible to use a technique called optical stimulated luminescence to date layers of quartz in the trench. Continue “It must have happened in this way since it was put on the hillside,” he says. Uffington White Horse. Until 1995, the Uffington White Horse was thought to date from the Iron Age. Un article de Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie libre. The image is a stylised representation of a horse (some would say dragon) some 374 feet in length. Le gigantesque cheval blanc d'Uffington, une des plus grandes réalisations humaines de l'âge du bronze européen (± 3 000 ans), est donc, parmi les géoglyphes équins d'Angleterre, probablement le seul que l'on puisse rattacher à la civilisation celtique. Smithsonian Institution. It lies by the Ridgeway, the ancient route that ran from Dorset to the Wash and still crosses the chalk ridges of the Berkshire Downs. The Uffington Horse, Uffington 'Castle' and Dragon Hill are all located beside the ancient track called the ' Ridgeway '. “If people didn’t look after it the horse would be gone within 20 to 30 years; overgrown and eroded. But the work is done by anyone who wants to come along. They’re coming to clean the horse. 6,451 acres (2,612 hectares) according to VCH Berks (1924), ie, including Balking and Woolstone; it was measured as 3,205 acres according to 1851 census, probably without these chapelries. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. Situé près du Ridgeway, un chemin qui parcourt la vallée de craie, près d'Uffington Castle (en) et Dragon Hill (en), le Cheval blanc d'Uffington est probablement la plus ancienne figure de craie (géoglyphe) connue en Angleterre. Le nom de White Horse Hill est attesté depuis 1070, sous le règne de Guillaume Ier (1066-1087)[1]. Une campagne festive de décapage était pratiquée tous les sept ans, attestée depuis au moins 1677 jusqu'à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, mais probablement organisée depuis bien plus longtemps[1]. The Uffington white horse, one of only four that face to the right, is high on an escarpment of the Berkshire Downs below Whitehorse Hill, a mile and a half south of the village of Uffington, and it looks out over the Vale of the White Horse. Residents in the village reportedly arrange their rooms so that they sit facing the horse. Experts believe the horse to be around 3,000 years old, but a recent geophysical survey has revealed that it is not the only ancient work of art in the area. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. La raison d'être de cette figure a donné lieu à de multiples théories[2] : représentation du cheval de la grande déesse cavalière Épona, monument commémorant la victoire du roi Alfred sur les Danois en 871, voire représentation liée au chef anglo-saxon semi-légendaire du Ve siècle Hengist[3]. The Uffington White Horse sired nearly every other 18th century chalk horse in the district! Selon l'interprétation la plus récente, la silhouette ne serait pas un symbole territorial, représentation d'une divinité locale ou figure tracée pour honorer les dieux, mais serait un cheval « tirant le Soleil » : un dispositif en lien avec le passage diurne du Soleil dans le ciel, lié à la trajectoire du Soleil d'hiver, qui se rencontre dans d'autres pays nordiques[6]. But our dating showed it was even older than that. A Grey Horse by George Stubbs, 1793. Advertising Notice La figure est inscrite dans un rectangle de 100 m sur 30 m orienté nord-sud, la tête au sud, et mesure environ 111 m de la queue à l'oreille[1]. The elegant creature almost melts into a landscape rich in prehistoric sites. or Visitors can enjoy spectacular views, a unique collection of ancient landmarks and a picturesque village. “The horse has always been part of our lives,” she says. High quality Uffington White Horse gifts and merchandise. On a clear day, … The Uffington White Horse is high on an escarpment of the Berkshire Downs below Whitehorse Hill, a mile and a half south of the village of Uffington. Start at the National Trust pay and display car park (free for members) and pick up the main path to the top of White Horse Hill. Conservation organization the National Trust oversees the chalking, making sure the original shape of the horse is maintained. On this July morning black specks dot the lower slopes as small groups of people trudge slowly upwards. 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