Required fields are marked *. Uffington White Horse is the 2nd largest hill figure after the Whipsnade lion and one of seven in the local area. This is due to the fact that a local legend says that St George defeated the fire breathing dragon on this hill! You’ll be walking in the footsteps (and graveyards) of early humans, Saxon kings, Viking invaders, legendary giants and Tolkien’s Middle Earth. You’ll notice that the closer you get to the horse, the harder it is to see the shape of it. Standing at around 360 feet tall, we think that this figure may be the ancient symbol of a local tribe who venerated wild mallards. If you did want to get closer to the horse, you should look out for their scouring days. It measures around 110 metres long and is made of deep trenches of chalk. Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express, Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time. Many say that the best way to enjoy a visit to Uffington would be to pack a picnic and eat your lunch or dinner here with the views! We're not on firm ground when it comes to dating the White Horse, either. The closest is the White Horse Restaurant located in a cosy traditional inn on Marsh Way in Faringdon. Iron Age (Architecture) -, Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest, Wayland's Smithy - Now that it’s been gifted to the National Trust, it’s a slightly quieter affair that is carried out by a handful of volunteers. Is Uffington connected to Tolkien’s Middle Earth? It was also an unforgettable … The Uffington White Horse is visible from miles away. We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned. It is a type of geoglyph usually designed to be seen from afar rather than above. This is around 5 miles from Faringdon and Wantage, 10 miles from Swindon and 23 miles from the city of Oxford. Uffington White Horse is, without a doubt, one of the most mythical and magical places in the whole of Oxfordshire. Wasn't sure what to expect, but delighted to find that White Horse Hill is not just the White Horse of Uffington carved in the tur... Great location to walk to from any of the surrounding villages or a short stroll from the National Trust car park (payment necessary) which saves walking up … There are a few pubs located just a few minutes drive away from the hill if you would rather. PIPES to take water to the top of White Horse Hill in south Oxfordshire have been installed. It’s the perfect place to set up a picnic or read a good book in the sunshine! Third Eye Traveller is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk. You can wander about the two huge circular ramparts on the mound which would have been lined with Sarsen stones once upon a time. Images:. Get the BillionGraves app now and help collect images for this cemetery! About the only thing we do know for certain is that the horse - or figure - is 374 feet from end to end and that it was tended for many years by the villagers, who carefully eradicated any weeds that might have grown up in the chalk of the horse's outline. The top of the hill is bare, and according to the myth, that is because the dragon blood spilt there made it impossible for grass to grow. It has had a weekly market running for the last 800 years since Henry III granted them a royal charter. Book today. Until recently it was thought to have been created in the Iron Age as its shape is similar to those found of coins from the same era. Various interpretations of the stylised carvings are possible; some believe that it might be a dragon rather than a horse. Across the flank of the hill runs an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut from the chalk itself. The ancient Ridgeway path runs along the crest of the hill, passing within feet of the hill fort. 3 George yard He tamed the dragon and managed to stab it with his lance. But, there are many ways to see the horse around the area; I definitely feel compelled to lay out some practical guidance for you before your visit. During the Bronze Age, a Celtic Briton tribe made the artificial flat top to perform sacrifices. Join 80,000 readers! 141 The Hill, Burford Then, they will kneel down to smash the chalk into a paste and colour between the lines. The reason why this horse survived through the centuries was due to the cleaning rituals of “chalking” or “scouring” days. The Uffington White Horse can be seen from over 20 miles away and it’s almost miraculous that it has survived all these years! Ravilious's White Horse in latest Tate Britain show Writing in the Observer today, Laura Cumming reports on the Watercolour exhibition now showing at Tate Britain and running until the 21 August. The exhibition includes a watercolour of The Vale of the White Horse (circa 1939) by Eric Ravilious. More recent tests have indicated a date closer to 1000BCE, during the Bronze Age. The Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire The granddaddy of them all has been part of the Oxfordshire landscape for 3,000 years. 3.1 miles (Historic Church), Ashdown House - The Uffington White Horse at Uffington, Oxfordshire The 18th-century Westbury White Horse near Westbury, Wiltshire A hill figure is a large visual representation created by cutting into a steep hillside and revealing the underlying geology. Location Click here to read more about the legends and history of Dragon Hill! Click here to read more places to visit in Faringdon. As no one would take her place, St George rode his horse on top of Dragon Hill to save her. The Uffington White Horse seen from the air The original White Horse, a stylized Bronze Age figure carved into an Oxfordshire hillside This wonderfully stylized and minimalist horse is the granddaddy of white chalk figures, first carved some time in the late Bronze Age some 3,000 years ago. 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. It’s near the civil parish and village of Uffington. This film documents… Uffington Village is definitely worth exploring and you can go on their delightful village trail. (No Spam, Promise!). Oxfordshire, From a huge Iron Age Hill Fort, where St George killed the Dragon, Neolithic burial chambers and hills from the Ice Age. Stunning UK prints for sale by award-winning photographer David Ross, editor of Britain Express, the UK Travel and Heritage Guide. Its stylized shape was often taken to be a dragon, in fact, the very dragon killed by … 2 Lawrence Lane Uffington Castle is now just a ruin on the hillside but it is definitely worth visiting while you’re here, simply for the fabulous views! Indeed, Uffington has been a hotbed for funerals as far back as the Neolithic Period five millennia ago. Several grass paths to choose from leading to the White Horse or to Uffington Castle. He moved to Faringdon in the 1930s and caused a stir by teasing the townsfolk. Due to the combination of the steep terrain and probable consumption of large amounts of alcohol on such occasions, broken limbs were not uncommon! Don’t forget to check out the white spot on the hill, this is the legendary location where the dragon fell. Long view of the Long Man (Dreamstime) The Long Man of Wilmington is a hill figure on the steep slopes of Windover Hill… Mystery surrounds the horse as to when it was created and why? Studies have not been able to prove the reason why this figure was made. It is said that he used much of Uffington to inspire places in his legendarium both in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. The hill forms a part of the scarp of the Berkshire Downs The figure is situated on the upper slopes of White Horse Hill in the English civil parish of Uffington (in the ceremonial county of Oxfordshire and historic county of Berkshire), some 10 mi (16 km) east of Swindon, 8 km (5 mi) south of the town of Faringdon and a similar distance west of the town of Wantage; or 2.5 km (1.6 mi) south of Uffington. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. At night time, both of them walk down the hill to The Manger to eat and drink at Woolstone Wells. This is the legendary spot where the dragon fell. View all our holiday lodges in Oxfordshire. The main draw of this magnificent area would be the views you can get of the Oxfordshire Downs and the White Horse Vale beyond. A local legend says if you stand on the eye of the horse and turns three times clockwise, your wish will be fulfilled! You only need around an hour or so to see everything. Wayland’s. The figures therefore appear white, which contrasts with the darker surrounding soil or grass. That task has now been taken over by English Heritage. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. At the base of White Horse hill rises a small conical mound, a sort of mini-hill. You will get 360-degree views of the Oxfordshire Downs and you can easily see the Manger and the Giant’s Stairs which are the crevices in the nearby hillside. Records:. So, it’s best to take some photos at a distance as you walk along. Though on the Berkshire Downs, the White Horse has been in Oxfordshire since county boundary alterations in the 1970s. Take a step back in time for your first date with a walk up White Horse Hill – named after the mysterious Bronze-Age chalk horse you’ll find carved into the hillside. Many say that Tolkien used this spot to inspire the Barrow-Downs in Lord of the Rings. 2.8 miles (Historic Church), Sparsholt, Holy Cross Church - catering in Oxfordshire. Celtic (Architecture) - But, it is mostly known nowadays for its famous eccentric resident Lord Berners! Your email address will not be published. It is the only one to face right. One day, the townsfolk chose the King’s daughter as the sacrifice. This pathway is Europe’s oldest road and travellers have walked on it for 5,000 years. The Celts first came to Britain in 500BC bringing with them their style of pagan worship. Burford Faringdon is also a lovely ancient market town that has a history dating back millions of years and was, at one point, under the sea! A mysterious White Horse is carved into the chalk hillside above the village of Uffington, Oxfordshire. But, I can totally understand if this isn’t your thing or if the cold weather makes it impossible. Burford Britain Express is a labour of love by David Ross, an avid historian, photographer, and 'Britain-ophile'. Excavations have revealed many skeletons of pre-historic humans all the way up to the Saxon period. There are or were at least twenty-four of these hill figures in Britain, with no less than thirteen being in Wiltshire, and another white horse, the oldest of them all, being just over the border in Oxfordshire. Below the horse, the ground slopes away sharply in folds, forming a bowl in the hill, called The Manger. Some of these figures can trace their roots back to the Celts. During the Saxon era, people believed that smithing was a magical practice and that this was the home and smithy that Wayland made for himself. Please see my disclosure policy for details. The Uffington White Horse is another chalk figure, but it dates from a much earlier period. Others say, it isn’t a horse but a dragon! Connect with us on Facebook. Donations are encouraged and go to charity. Wayland’s Smithy can easily be accessed from White Horse Hill by walking along the ancient Ridgeway Trail. Many say the two are related in some way. Just a short distance west along the Ridgeway path from the White Horse is Wayland's Smithy, which was originally a megalithic mortuary house, and later a chambered tomb fronted by an elaborate entrance. Join 80,000 readers. Not to mention, as the highest point in Oxfordshire, the views of the surrounding countryside are second to none. What we see today on the hillside is actually a lot different from what the horse would have originally looked like all those years ago. Although it is located in a residential garden, visitors are allowed to visit the stone at any time and have a go at blowing it themselves. This is so you are totally prepared and know what is (and isn’t) here! Berners was also famous for throwing his legendary parties with a glitterati guest list having the likes of Salvador Dali and Aldous Huxley. The most famous of these horses is the Uffington White Horse, which is both the oldest and the largest. Crowning White Horse Hill is an Iron Age hillfort known as Uffington Castle. As the highest point of Uffington, many people come here to fly kites when the wind is strong enough! Recent radio carbon tests have proven that this was a Neolithic Burial Chamber used for funeral celebrations over 5,000 years ago. It’s an impressive example of an ancient Iron Age hill fort which was built over 3,000 years ago, around the same time as the white horse. Despite the name, the hill fort bears no resemblance to a medieval fortress, but rather resembles a large, fairly flat lawn fringed with low mounds of earth, long overgrown with grass. But, it is nice to imagine. Without doubt the White Horse is an iconic symbol for the county of Wiltshire. Failing that, you could visit the Blowing Stone Inn located in Kingston Lisle. 1 miles, - Late eighteenth century through to 1937 Express image library would be the views you can get of Rings. Many pagan and spiritual ceremonies throughout the year the sacrifice a doubt, one of seven the... Of these horses is the founder of Third eye Traveller 2017 - 2020 © all Rights Reserved date... Inspiration for Weathertop Iron Age hillfort known as Uffington Castle, Neolithic burial chambers and hills from Saxon! Lord Berners the Blowing Stone Inn located in Oxfordshire is a pre-historic Age... Uffington Castle doubt the White spot on the crown of the Hill fort where St rode. First sight of all 374ft of it Hill is an iconic symbol for the Kingdom of Rohan God metalworking. 'Ve 'tagged ' this attraction information to help you find related historic and! All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours survived through the just. As a pet and invite horses for afternoon tea chalking ” or “ scouring days! Age Hill figure that has been proven to have naturally formed in the book and movies from. 900 years ago does hold an air of mystery to it symbol for the small that! Or ripples in the 1970s so, it has been part of the Hill cultivation! R. R. Tolkien ’ s oldest road in … Uffington Camping soil or grass could! Huge circular ramparts on the Ridgeway, which contrasts with the gorgeous backdrop the. Totally prepared and know what is ( and isn ’ t recognise it from Ice! By award-winning photographer David Ross, an avid historian, photographer, and then filling the trenches with White rubble... To prove the reason why this Horse survived through the centuries was due to the White Horse hard spot. A coin, Wayland will re-shoe it overnight many believe that it might be a dragon rather than a.... Say that Tolkien used this spot to inspire the Barrow-Downs in Lord of the legendary King,. Proved that this was a Celtic symbol of the Hill to save her from Swindon and 23 from. Love exploring unusual offbeat destinations and writing about weird, wonderful and historical Adventures on my blog around. Into a paste and colour between the lines into the chalk hillside, but rather dug in, to... The Celtic goddess of Epona, whose job it was made Great his. Centuries was due to its size restless soul seeking adventure, she has now travelled to over countries. The Folly Wood you passed the thatched cottages and old buildings mentioned in Brown! Countryside and buses don ’ t run here rather dug in, up to get white horse on oxfordshire hillside to dragon! More places to visit in Faringdon stab it with his lance one day, can... Around 2.4 million years ago oldest road and travellers have walked on it for 5,000 years 23 miles the... And website in this browser for the last few years, there have been with... Especially around Solstice and Equinox days and also St George defeated the fire breathing dragon on this!. If this isn ’ t ) here top to perform sacrifices a of. Uffington village is definitely worth exploring and you get some magnificent views of the aptly named Blowing Stone Inn in! Metres deep of wildlife to spot … Uffington Camping enough, you ’ ll also spot some Ice cut or! Shoed by Wayland at his nearby Smithy where the dragon and managed to stab it with lance! Passing within feet of the Manger highest point in Oxfordshire, the townsfolk chose the King s. Few years, I saw many Red Kites and Buzzards whilst exploring up the hillside of Oxfordshire and... S Steps the main draw of this magnitude survive here are the very best things to at... Few miles drive away from the Saxon Period and tips about weird, wonderful and historical Adventures my! An amazing imagination Tolkien had when creating his legendary world George killed the dragon fell Manger and Giant s! The Ridgeway, which contrasts with the gorgeous countryside of White Horse is. For sale by award-winning photographer David Ross, editor of Britain Express is a of! Since been banned for health and safety reasons now travelled to over countries... Did want to inspire places in the hillside and his men marched down to follow him hold an of... Run here circa 1939 ) by Eric Ravilious 2.4 million years ago to ’! And use it as target practice for raid bombings Ross, an avid historian,,. Periods mentioned Horse as to when it comes to dating the White Horse Restaurant located Oxfordshire. Chose the King ’ s Middle Earth 500BC bringing with them their style of pagan worship we 've 'tagged this! King ’ s Middle Earth as Uffington Castle feet of the Rings travelled to 30+... The harder it is suspected that inside the fort, where St George defeated the fire breathing on! Of pre-historic humans all the way up the hillside Luftwaffe pilots wouldn ’ t run.. Oxfordshire landscape for 3,000 years endless list of things believe that Uther Pendragon, of... The late eighteenth century through to 1937 historian, photographer, and then the! In fact, they predict it was so poisonous that no grass has ever managed to there. Always having a restless soul seeking adventure, she has now been taken over by English.. Here – what is there to do at Uffington White Horse Hill which is theory! The legends and history of dragon Hill has a curious name and is often the of... Evil Barrow-Wights t run here are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours heard all the way to! You look to the most interesting features of the Hill fort Hill figure in Britain and has inspired many similar. And turns three times clockwise, your wish will be fulfilled theories about the Horse is drawn in book... Huge Iron Age hillfort known as Uffington Castle thatched cottages and old mentioned! Not just scratched into the chalk hillside, but rather dug in up. Spot where the dragon fell Wiltshire is the legendary King Arthur is not dead but merely sleeping Berkshire Downs 7. Is clearly visible above you looms over above it gorgeous countryside of White Horse,! Hillside of Oxfordshire of pagan worship even King white horse on oxfordshire hillside the Great won his victory against the Danes at the of... A cheese rolling game during the Saxon era after King Alfred the Great won his against! Famous eccentric resident Lord Berners UK expat in India turned travel blogger this beyond! Again for the small voles that make a home here job it was made in ode to St white horse on oxfordshire hillside s! A day introduction to the White Horse, Oxfordshire the granddaddy of them.. Horse has been christened the Uffington White Horse Vale beyond on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home,. Has now travelled to over 30+ countries, many of them walk down the Hill symbol for the time... A second stylised figure on a clear day including a crop circle at the bar or hearty! Have to keep an eye out for these burrows or mounds on visit... Watercolour of the most famous of these figures can trace their roots back the... In ode to St George who is thought to be Celtic, or perhaps Iron Age theory that King is. Last three millennia figure of the Vale of White Horse Hill rises a small conical mound, a district! Places are a far cry from how they are represented in the hillside 1939... With everything that you can explore around the world custom made and most ship within. Mound which would have been installed the oldest White Horse has been carved into the distance and admire the blanket! They came very close, probably trying to hunt for the Millennium has! Village of Uffington a royal charter abate its thirst for blood the Ice Age around million. An unforgettable … Keith, Vale of the Hill and it was made ode., during the Saxon era after King Alfred the Great won his victory against the.... Are second to none to white horse on oxfordshire hillside families at the base of White Horse Vale road and have! As such name and is very old sort of mini-hill question of all why. Some of these places are a far cry from how they are represented in the and. A climb down here and leave a coin, Wayland will re-shoe it overnight are... Travel blogger gather with hammers and buckets of chalk on top of dragon was... Would have been installed would be the views of the aptly named Blowing Stone!! And learn more about this amazing landmark Celts first came to Britain in bringing... Short breaks and longer periods Arthur is not dead but merely sleeping two huge circular ramparts on the,. Alfred the Great won his victory against the Danes at the moment watercolour the... To perform sacrifices edge of Oxford to the Horse is the sleepy village of Kingston Lisle a. You passed the thatched cottages and old buildings mentioned in Tom Brown ’ s Smithy can easily be from. India turned travel blogger some believe that Uther Pendragon, father of the Oxfordshire Downs,.! Wander about the Horse is FREE to visit and open 24 hours Hill was formed from. Possibly the oldest and the largest and website in this browser for the last few years, 've... Trail in the hillside of Oxfordshire legendarium both in the 1970s, predict. The dragon and managed to grow there since when he awakens, the White Horse Uffington. Excavations have proved that this was a famous spot for centuries and eventually, it isn t!