Location - Bank Field , Roundway Hill
Ordinance survey reference - SU 016 641
Dimensions of the White Horse - length : 45.7 metres height : 45.0 metres
Route to White Horse - Follow the A361 towards Swindon. Turn left at the sign Roundway Garden Industrial Estate and follow Folly Road towards Roundway Hill - on entering Roundway take the right-hand fork at the telephone box and again the right-hand fork at the next junction. Bank Field is the field at the top of the rise on the right. There is a stile for public access to the field.
It is possible from the Vale of Pewsey to see both the Alton Barnes and the Devizes White Horses, facing each other.
Sponsored by, and without whose help the Project could not have proceeded, Wiltshire Tourism, Pearce Civil Engineering, Crown Estates Commissioners.
It was a letter to the local newspaper, in August 1998, by a newcomer to Devizes, Sarah Padwick; suggesting that a chalk hill figure be cut in Roundway Down to commemorate the Millennium; which instigated this successful project. Unknown to her, there had previously been a hill figure cut on Roundway Down. It was cut in 1845 and was in the form of a horse; but has been long since overgrown. This was on the escarpment to the south of Oliver's Camp and cut by the shoemakers apprentices in 1845. It was known as Snob's Horse. Snob being the then local term for shoemaker. Many attempts have been made to reinstate this original chalk figure, namely in 1909,1939,1954.1977,1979,1987 and 1998. Peter Greed, a sixth form student at Devizes Grammar School, was one of the students in 1954 led by James Smith, the then Head Boy, who researched the Snob's Horse. Peter at that time drew up full detailed plans for the recutting of the horse. The present attempt to recut Snob's Horse was thwarted by the site being declared a site of special scientific interest. However a local farmer, Chris Combe, offered his land on Roundway Hill as an alternative site; provided permission was granted by the Crown Estates Commissioners, who own the land. Wiltshire County Council Tourism supported the project as did Roundway Parish Council who supported the planning application made to the Kennet District Council. The design was that drawn up in 1954, but reversing the directing in which the horse faced. Thus this new horse differs from the other Wiltshire White Horse hill figures in that it faces to the right and depicts a moving horse. A committee was set up to oversee the project; and the public invited to become members of the 'Cavaliers of the Devizes Millennium White Horse' - the group formed to support the project and its future maintenance. Alan Truscott of Sarsens Housing joined the committee in charge of the surveying and pegging out of the horse figure, as did Keith Saunders of Pearce Civil Engineering who provided the machinery and manpower to complete the clearing of the top soil and the infilling of the chalk following the cutting of the outline by hand by various groups and individuals from the local community. "Torrential rain and gales could not dampen the spirit and enthusiasm of the c. 200 people who took part in the cutting of the outline."
It is anticipated that this project will promote the town of Devizes, its ancient heritage and attractive surrounding countryside; and will provide an additional feature for the tourist map of the area.
Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
The New Horse
Reproduced with kind permission of Dae Sasitorn and Adrian Warren - www.lastrefuge.co.uk
The New Horse
Close up of the Head
Construction of the Horse
Courtesy of the Wiltshire Police Helicopter Ambulance.
The Horse during construction, courtesy of the Wiltshire Police Helicopter Ambulance.
Pre Construction Information
Cavaliers of the Devizes Millennium White Horse
At last, we have published a postcard to help advertise and support the new hillfigure, which can be purchased locally or directly for 15p per card, from Mrs Sarah Padwick, Linden House, London Road, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 2DS, tel 01380 721595