Westbury White Horse

 

This 8 mile circuit begins and ends at the carpark beside the Westbury White Horse and the earthworks of Bratton Camp. The sound park is located in the area bounded by the top of the escarpment and the furthest banks of Bratton Camp. The walk begins on tracks and level ground along the Imber range fences, passing the top of the road down into the Imber village. Arriving above Eddington to dramatic views and old tracks down, the route follows one such track to the road near Bratton. A short walk along the road takes you to the old parish church nestling peacefully in the woods, a gentle climb up the edge of a magnificent chalk bowl will bring you back to the Westbury White Horse

This is the ‘perfect’ white horse, on a steep west-facing escarpment overlooking Westbury. The current horse, cut over an older one is now concreted over and white washed. It sits below the ancient Bratton hill fort one of a series of earthworks along the chalk downs. Saxon armies may have once gathered here, the modern military is still much in evidence.


View Westbury Loop in a larger map

The horse was excavated and entirely concreted in 1957, having had its tail experimentally replaced following Queen Elizabeth II’s accession. The concrete horse was repainted for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visit in 2012, this horse and its earliest known chalk predecessors perhaps recalled rare royal visits. A large Hanoverian White Horse was fashioned here in 1778 from a smaller ‘modern’ chalk horse first reported in 1742.

A detailed OS mapped downloadable Viewranger map is available here:  Westbury White Horse loop

Below you can view some of the short films inspired by the Westbury White Horse and the journey to it, created for the Freedom on My Doorstep installation. The images at the bottom of the page were taken at or near the Westbury White Horse from the project Flickr feed. The Flickr group is still live you can view it directly here  Walking Wiltshires White Horses.     Visitors to Wiltshires White Horses are invited to contribute images to this group.

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