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Westbury (Bratton) White Horse

The Westbury White Horse is the oldest in the county. It is carved in a most commanding position on Bratton Down, overlooking the Vale of Pewsey. To approach the horse you have to take a minor road of the B3098, close to Bratton Castle.

Legend has it that the first horse here was a likeness of King Alfred's charger Swallow, which he rode to victory over the Danes at the nearby battle of Ethandune in 878. The horse was said to be cut in outline, facing the other way to its successor. According to a likeness drawn by a clergyman named Wise in 1742, the horse is said to have had a beak-like head and a long curving tail, shaped like a crescent at the end, one large eye and a saddle with two circles. If true, it may have been lost in the body of the present one which is the work of George Gee, steward to Lord Abingdon in 1778, modified in 1853 and restored 20 years later. The Westbury or Bratton White Horse is 180 feet (55 metres) long and 107 feet (33 metres) high with an eye circumference of 25 feet (7.6 metres). It has a deep body, short legs and a long hanging tail..

 


 

 


Westbury White Horse - Closer view


Westbury White Horse fron the Bratton Road

 


 

 


 

Westbury White Horse from the Bratton Road

Westbury White Horse

Bratton: the White Horse

A splendid view is to be had from up on Westbury Hill, with the white horse, of course, the dominant feature.

© Copyright Chris Downer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

White Horse Map