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. 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. Terms of Use 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. During World War II, it was covered over with turf and hedge trimmings so Luftwaffe bombers couldn’t use it for navigation. “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. If you look at it from below, the sun rises from behind it and crosses over it. It’s a 3,000-year-old pictogram the size of a football field and visible from 20 miles away. A Grey Horse by George Stubbs, 1793. 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 is only from the valley below that the whole picture can be taken in. 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. 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. They’re coming to clean the horse. This large figure has seen little new interpretation since the early twentieth century. I’m a neo-Pagan and I feel it connects me to the land. Carved into the chalk of a hillside in southern England, the Uffington White Horse is utterly unique. Privacy Statement Owned by the National Trust. 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 the oldest of all of Britain's white horses by thousands of years and it is the oldest hill figure in Britain. “It looks like it’s bounding across the hillside. The elegant creature almost melts into a landscape rich in prehistoric sites. On this July morning black specks dot the lower slopes as small groups of people trudge slowly upwards. Un article de Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie libre. 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. 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]. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views, a unique collection of ancient landmarks and a picturesque village. Uffington White Horse is an awe inspiring site that can seen from miles away overlooking the head of a dry valley in Ridgeway Escarpment. 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. California Do Not Sell My Info 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. 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. Dated to around 1400 BCE just above the White Horse is Uffington Castle which is a neolithic hill fort. This unique stylized representation of a horse consists of a long sleek back, thin disjointed legs, a streaming tail, and bird-like beaked head. Cependant, dans la tradition locale, la silhouette est associée à la figure de saint Georges (saint patron d'Angleterre) qui aurait combattu le dragon sur Dragon Hill, colline toute proche[1]. The image is a stylised representation of a horse (some would say dragon) some 374 feet in length. 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. 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. Hammers, buckets of chalk and kneepads are handed out and everyone is allocated an area. The Uffington White Horse The Uffington White Horse is the oldest known white horse hill carving in England. But to the people who live near and tend the horse, it’s a monumental reminder of Britain’s ancient past. This gigantic chalk figure carved into a hillside is Britain's oldest. 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. White Horse Inn (Stop 10) Wayland’s Smithy Neolithic burial site is just 1 mile from the Uffington White Horse. A short walk away you will find Wayland’s Smithy and ancient long Barrow site. Local historians fancy that it's linked with Alfred the Great, but it is now understood that it greatly predates that period. Until 1995, the Uffington White Horse was thought to date from the Iron Age. 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. My home is in Uffington, Oxfordshire, under the oldest white horse chalk figure, which has inspired my ‘Uffington White Horse’ range of tableware. The Uffington Horse, Uffington 'Castle' and Dragon Hill are all located beside the ancient track called the ' Ridgeway '. It has a thin, sweeping body, stubby legs, a curiously long tail and a round eye set in a square head. Continue Uffington White Horse. Uffington White Horse (Hill Figure) on The Modern Antiquarian, the UK & Ireland's most popular megalithic community website. On a clear day, … “If people didn’t look after it the horse would be gone within 20 to 30 years; overgrown and eroded. 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. “It must have happened in this way since it was put on the hillside,” he says. Across the flank of the hill runs an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut from the chalk itself. Theorists originally though it was of Anglo Saxon origin, but eventually concluded that it was from the Iron Age (from about 800 BC) because the stylized horse symbol has been found on coins from the period. 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. It’s of great spiritual significance,” she says. 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. “We’re really excited that we’re cleaning the eye today. 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). Most of them were carved in the 18th and 19th centuries, so they are all modern compared to the Uffington one. Discover Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire, England: The granddaddy of English geoglyphs dates back to the late Bronze Age. “The horse has always been part of our lives,” she says. 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. For locals, it’s part of the backdrop of daily life. or Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. The famous White Horse is the oldest … Le Cheval blanc a toujours été régulièrement entretenu. When I was a little girl and I came here with my mother and father, the eye was a special spot. Lynda Miller is working on the eye, a circle the size of a car wheel. 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. Date of experience: March 2019. His horse paintings might have inspired 18th and 19th century horse carvings. La dernière modification de cette page a été faite le 9 août 2020 à 19:26. Le nom de White Horse Hill est attesté depuis 1070, sous le règne de Guillaume Ier (1066-1087)[1]. High quality Uffington White Horse gifts and merchandise. Vote Now! Cookie Policy 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. “It’s a beautiful shape, very elegant,” says Miles. 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]. 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. Smithsonian Institution. 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. 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. It has been maintained by periodic shaping and filling of the design with fresh chalk rocks. 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. Une datation plus récente, menée dans les années 1990 par Simon Palmer et David Miles de l'Oxford Archaeological Unit, démontre néanmoins que la figure date de l'âge du bronze[4]. It came out as the beginning of the Iron Age, perhaps even the end of the Bronze Age, nearly 3,000 years ago.”. Up on the hill it’s not possible to view the whole horse at once; the curve of the slope gets in the way, the sheer scale of it confuses the eye. 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. That meant it was possible to use a technique called optical stimulated luminescence to date layers of quartz in the trench. Conservation organization the National Trust oversees the chalking, making sure the original shape of the horse is maintained. “It was older than I’d been expecting,” Miles remembers. 1 Helpful vote. High quality Uffington gifts and merchandise. However, it has been called a horse since the eleventh century at least. Residents in the village reportedly arrange their rooms so that they sit facing the horse. Measuring almost four hundred feet long, the figure was created by filling dug trenches with powdered chalk. It’s chalking day, a cleaning ritual that has happened here regularly for three millennia. With its elegant lines of white chalk bedrock, the Horse is thought to be the oldest hill figure in Britain. Chalking or “scouring” the horse was already an ancient custom when antiquarian Francis Wise wrote about it in 1736. The Berkshire Downs where the horse lies are scattered with prehistoric remains. 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 the 1990s, he led an excavation of the site that established the prehistoric date for the horse. 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]. Helpful. The Uffington white horse. The Uffington White Horse is another chalk figure, but it dates from a much earlier period. The trenches would have been dug out using antler picks and wooden spades: tough, labor-intensive work. La silhouette du cheval est linéaire et tracée dans la craie sous-jacente à la couche d'humus. From the start the horse would have required regular upkeep to stay visible. It was first mentioned in a 12th century manuscript as merely a landmark, mentioning a Manor House nearby. Lucy Bartholomew has brought her children. The people who come to the chalking have a variety of motivations. This is the Uffington White Horse, the oldest of the English hill figures. Uffington White Horse. 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. Nobody knows for certain why the horse was made. Offerings, flowers, coins and candles are left on the site. 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. Chalk carvings like the Uffington Horse require constant upkeep to keep grass from overtaking it, or the chalk from fading away. (Oxford is about a 30-minute drive and London about an hour-and-a-half.). Martha Buckley is chalking the horse’s neck. " All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. Advertising Notice 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. 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]. How the builders planned and executed such a large figure when the full effect can only be taken in from several miles away is still a mystery. This walk uncovers some of the stories behind - and beneath - these sights. 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 We’re following in the footsteps of the ancients, doing exactly what they did 3,000 years ago.”. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. Le site, propriété du National Trust, est considéré comme un « site archéologique majeur »[1]. The White Horse is carved into the chalk hillside just above Uffington. I visit Cornwall regularly because of my love of the coast and sea there – my new designs of ‘Fishes’ are born from this. The horse is one of many chalk figures scatted across the English countryside. Ordnance Survey grid reference: SU 302 866. and 550 B.C. Give a Gift. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. We used to make a wish on it.”, National Trust ranger Andy Foley hands out hammers. Across the flank of the hill runs an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut from the chalk itself. The chalkers kneel and smash the chalk to a paste, whitening the stony pathways in the grass inch by inch. La première référence au cheval proprement dit, par les bénédictins d'Abingdon Abbey, date de 1190[2]. What makes the Uffington White Horse’s 3,000-year lifespan unbelievable, is that people have kept it up all this time. “The ceremony of scouring the Horse, from time immemorial, has been solemnized by a numerous concourse of people from all the villages roundabout,” he wrote. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. He holds within his image, the beautiful celtic curvilinear design to be found on the horse furnishings around this area, he can be called a Saxon horse because of association with King Alfred and white horses, and of course he belongs to St. George and his dragon. Uffington ‘Castle’, which occupies the summit of Whitehorse Hill, is a rare and outstanding example of a large Iron Age hillfort. 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It was not just scratched into the chalk hillside, but rather dug in, up to 3 feet deep. But our dating showed it was even older than that. The hill forms a part of the Berkshire Downs and overlooks the Vale of White Horse to the north. The Ridgeway, Britain’s oldest road, runs nearby. The Uffington White Horse is a unique later prehistoric geoglyph worked onto the chalk hillside of the Berkshire Downs in southern England. “If we don’t do it, it would disappear, and the world would be a sorrier place,” he says. 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]. Share. The 374-foot-long figure lies on the upper slopes of White Horse Hill in the English civil parish of Uffington. 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. These days it’s a quieter event. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. “There is something very special about this landscape that attracts people,” says archaeologist David Miles. 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. The Uffington Horse is in Oxfordshire, but in the neighboring county of Wiltshire you can find eight more chalk horses. And the abstract shape of the horse is very similar to horses on ancient British coins just over 2,000 years old. It has long been debated whether the chalk figure is intended to represent a horse or some other animal. It is best seen from the air or … Read more. 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