Cherhill White Horse

Keith Steggall, National Trust Wiltshire Landscape Ranger Keith Steggall National Trust Wiltshire Landscape Ranger
White horse

The iconic Cherhill White Horse can be seen for miles around and is one of only eight chalk white horses in Wiltshire.

The Cherhill White Horse is the second oldest in Wiltshire and was made under the guidance of Dr Christopher Alsop of Calne in 1780, who gave instructions to a team of workers from a distance, using a megaphone.

The Cherhill horse is now looked after by the local Parish Council and underwent some serious restoration in 2002.  Over the years the horse had become faded and the outline needed to be re-cut.  This meant that 160 tonnes of fresh chalk had to be moved to the top of the hill, packed on to the horse, and held in place by wooden boarding.

Now the horse is maintained by weeding and re-chalking every two years which is done by the Cherhill White Horse Restoration Group with the help of the local scout group.

At one time there were thirteen white horses in Wiltshire, however now only eight survive due to lack of management. 

The oldest white horse in Britain is at Uffington Castle in Oxfordshire which is thought to date back to the Bronze Age some 3000 years ago.

Iron Age ramparts

Oldbury Castle

If you climb to the top of Cherhill Down you can explore the extensive ramparts of this Iron Age hillfort, once home to many people.