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Broad Town White Horse

The white horse at Broad Town is possibly one of Wiltshire's lesser known chalk carvings. Far from main roads, it is a hill figure that needs to be looked for. It sits near the village of Broad Town, and can be comfortably viewed from the Church yard in the village.

It is a well carved, almost child like horse shape, but certainly distinctive. It is thought to have been cut by a local farmer, William Simmonds in 1864. Like all chalk carvings, it needs maintenance to stay alive and after being neglected for many years, the Broad Town White Horse Restoration Society was formed by local villagers and since 1991 they have regularly scoured and maintained it.

Visiting the horse is not so easy and it is best viewed from afar, and as it can be glimpsed from 20 miles away it would be more productive to seek out glimpses from afar than reach the base of the hill it calls home. Close up there is not much to be seen from above or below. There are no designated parking spaces, although rights of way can navigate you up to the hill. I walked from Bincknoll Castle across the boggy fields and tree line. There is an information board about the White Horse long distance footpath on the path directly below the horse.

Above the top of the escarpment, fields point the way to another escarpment in the distance, which is home to the Ridgeway, Britain's oldest road, and Barbury Castle, an Iron Age hillfort. An historic landscape indeed.

The White Horse with the Ridgeway in the distance

A wonderfully remote and characterful chalk carving, the Broad Town White Horse is a Wiltshire classic. Seek it out, you won't be disappointed.


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