Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. The chalkers kneel and smash the chalk to a paste, whitening the stony pathways in the grass inch by inch. 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. Continue Discover Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire, England: The granddaddy of English geoglyphs dates back to the late Bronze Age. It has been maintained by periodic shaping and filling of the design with fresh chalk rocks. 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. It’s chalking day, a cleaning ritual that has happened here regularly for three millennia. White Horse Inn (Stop 10) Wayland’s Smithy Neolithic burial site is just 1 mile from the Uffington White Horse. The Ridgeway, Britain’s oldest road, runs nearby. “It’s good to be able to explain to them why it’s here.” For Geoff Weaver, it’s the imperative to preserve history. 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. Across the flank of the hill runs an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut from the chalk itself. We used to make a wish on it.”, National Trust ranger Andy Foley hands out hammers. High quality Uffington gifts and merchandise. Nobody knows for certain why the horse was made. Most of them were carved in the 18th and 19th centuries, so they are all modern compared to the Uffington one. 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. “It must have happened in this way since it was put on the hillside,” he says. 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. Ordnance Survey grid reference: SU 302 866. I visit Cornwall regularly because of my love of the coast and sea there – my new designs of ‘Fishes’ are born from this. That meant it was possible to use a technique called optical stimulated luminescence to date layers of quartz in the trench. 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]. From the start the horse would have required regular upkeep to stay visible. 1 Helpful vote. The Uffington White Horse is a unique later prehistoric geoglyph worked onto the chalk hillside of the Berkshire Downs in southern England. 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. It is the oldest of all of Britain's white horses by thousands of years and it is the oldest hill figure in Britain. It was first mentioned in a 12th century manuscript as merely a landmark, mentioning a Manor House nearby. Dated to around 1400 BCE just above the White Horse is Uffington Castle which is a neolithic hill fort. The elegant creature almost melts into a landscape rich in prehistoric sites. 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. And the abstract shape of the horse is very similar to horses on ancient British coins just over 2,000 years old. During World War II, it was covered over with turf and hedge trimmings so Luftwaffe bombers couldn’t use it for navigation. In the 1990s, he led an excavation of the site that established the prehistoric date for the horse. Dragon Hill is a small hillock immediately below the Uffington White Horse on the border of the civil parishes of Uffington and Woolstone in the English county of Oxfordshire.In 1974 it was transferred from Berkshire.. Dragon Hill is a natural chalk hill with an artificially flattened top (on the scarp slope of White Horse Hill); according to legend, Saint George slew the dragon here. The Uffington White Horse The Uffington White Horse is the oldest known white horse hill carving in England. The people who come to the chalking have a variety of motivations. The image is a stylised representation of a horse (some would say dragon) some 374 feet in length. A 7.4-mile walk from the highest point in Oxfordshire at White Horse Hill, near Uffington, following the Ridgeway national trail towards Ashbury and passing Wayland’s Smithy. Le Cheval blanc a toujours été régulièrement entretenu. Residents in the village reportedly arrange their rooms so that they sit facing the horse. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. For locals, it’s part of the backdrop of daily life. Dragon Hill itself is an artificially levelled chalk outcrop below and immediately in front of the Uffington White Horse. “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. 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. 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 might seem strange that the horse’s creators chose such an unstable form for their monument, but archaeologists believe this could have been intentional. The white horse at Uffington is one of the few prehistoric chalk drawings that retains it's early form (based on horse figures in Celtic coins I've seen). On a clear day, … The Uffington Horse is in Oxfordshire, but in the neighboring county of Wiltshire you can find eight more chalk horses. 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. These days it’s a quieter event. 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. It was not just scratched into the chalk hillside, but rather dug in, up to 3 feet deep. This gigantic chalk figure carved into a hillside is Britain's oldest. Measuring almost four hundred feet long, the figure was created by filling dug trenches with powdered chalk. All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. The trenches would have been dug out using antler picks and wooden spades: tough, labor-intensive work. 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. The Berkshire Downs where the horse lies are scattered with prehistoric remains. My home is in Uffington, Oxfordshire, under the oldest white horse chalk figure, which has inspired my ‘Uffington White Horse’ range of tableware. Smithsonian Institution. The Uffington white horse. We’re following in the footsteps of the ancients, doing exactly what they did 3,000 years ago.”. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. Hammers, buckets of chalk and kneepads are handed out and everyone is allocated an area. (Oxford is about a 30-minute drive and London about an hour-and-a-half.). Earth Mysteries - The Uffington White Horse,, 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. Carved into the chalk of a hillside in southern England, the Uffington White Horse is utterly unique. This large figure has seen little new interpretation since the early twentieth century. The famous White Horse is the oldest … Bien visible du ciel, elle l'est aussi des villages situés de l'autre côté de la Vallée du Cheval blanc, Great Coxwell, Longcot et Fernham. Chalk carvings like the Uffington Horse require constant upkeep to keep grass from overtaking it, or the chalk from fading away. His horse paintings might have inspired 18th and 19th century horse carvings. Conservation organization the National Trust oversees the chalking, making sure the original shape of the horse is maintained. 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 horse is one of many chalk figures scatted across the English countryside. 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 Uffington White Horse is a highly stylised prehistoric hill figure, 374 feet (110 m) long, formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. In Celtic art, horses are often shown pulling the chariot of the sun, so that may be what they were thinking of here.”. It is only from the valley below that the whole picture can be taken in. La silhouette du cheval est linéaire et tracée dans la craie sous-jacente à la couche d'humus. 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. 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. The only sounds are the wind, distant birdsong and the thumping of hammers on the chalk that can be felt through the feet. The Uffington White Horse sired nearly every other 18th century chalk horse in the district! La première référence au cheval proprement dit, par les bénédictins d'Abingdon Abbey, date de 1190[2]. 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. The hill forms a part of the Berkshire Downs and overlooks the Vale of White Horse to the north. But the work is done by anyone who wants to come along. 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]. Le nom de White Horse Hill est attesté depuis 1070, sous le règne de Guillaume Ier (1066-1087)[1]. Date of experience: March 2019. “We’re really excited that we’re cleaning the eye today. Vote Now! 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. Uffington White Horse (Hill Figure) on The Modern Antiquarian, the UK & Ireland's most popular megalithic community website. Privacy Statement This walk uncovers some of the stories behind - and beneath - these sights. “The horse has always been part of our lives,” she says. “It’s a beautiful shape, very elegant,” says Miles. 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]. It came out as the beginning of the Iron Age, perhaps even the end of the Bronze Age, nearly 3,000 years ago.”. The Bronze Age White Horse at Uffington, Oxfordshire from the air Views from the White Horse on White Horse Hill Striding out at White Horse Hill Ancient rolling downland, home to an enigmatic chalk hill figure Martha Buckley is chalking the horse’s neck. " “If people didn’t look after it the horse would be gone within 20 to 30 years; overgrown and eroded. Share. “There is something very special about this landscape that attracts people,” says archaeologist David Miles. This is the Uffington White Horse, the oldest of the English hill figures. 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. Uffington White Horse. If you look at it from below, the sun rises from behind it and crosses over it. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. Uffington White Horse is an awe inspiring site that can seen from miles away overlooking the head of a dry valley in Ridgeway Escarpment. La dernière modification de cette page a été faite le 9 août 2020 à 19:26. It is best seen from the air or … Read more. 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. The Uffington White Horse is one of England’s largest and best-known chalk figures. “It’s the world’s largest coloring between the lines,” says George Buce, one of the participants. The Uffington Horse, Uffington 'Castle' and Dragon Hill are all located beside the ancient track called the ' Ridgeway '. Local historians fancy that it's linked with Alfred the Great, but it is now understood that it greatly predates that period. Give a Gift. High quality Uffington White Horse gifts and merchandise. Owned by the National Trust. All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. 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. “If we don’t do it, it would disappear, and the world would be a sorrier place,” he says. A short walk away you will find Wayland’s Smithy and ancient long Barrow site. 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. With its elegant lines of white chalk bedrock, the Horse is thought to be the oldest hill figure in Britain. Lynda Miller is working on the eye, a circle the size of a car wheel. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views, a unique collection of ancient landmarks and a picturesque village. Le site, propriété du National Trust, est considéré comme un « site archéologique majeur »[1]. Cookie Policy Lucy Bartholomew has brought her children. What makes the Uffington White Horse’s 3,000-year lifespan unbelievable, is that people have kept it up all this time. Offerings, flowers, coins and candles are left on the site.
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