Q - Why is the Uffington Horse facing right where as all the other horses face left?
A - The latest Devizes Horse also faces right but was originally drawn to face left and a mirror image was transposed on the hill. The artist was right handed and drawing an animal facing left is easier to do - try it, the artist for the Uffington White Horse was I suspect left handed. The recent Folkestone Horse also faces right and the artist who I know well is left handed!
Q - What is the largest hillfigure?
A - Existing figures only, if we talk about length the Whipsnade lion at 483 ft, if we talk about height the Osmington Whitehorse at 280 ft, they are both very close in area along with the Kilburn Horse.
Q - What is the smallest hillfigure?
A - The Warwick Swan is 10' by 8'. The Port Abraham teapot at 21'3" wide and 21'3" tall (Now lost). The Woolbury Horse is 27' wide.
Q - What is the oldest hillfigure?
A - The Uffington Whitehorse has been dated to ~1200 BC so currently is the oldest, although the earliest written records are circa 1100AD.
Q - What is the newest hillfigure?
A - The Folkestone Horse 2003 and one other figure is planned.
Q - How many hillfigure have there been?
A - We currently know of the 56 that can be seen today and 57 that have been lost, totalling 113, but there are I am sure, more to add to these which will be discovered in the fullness of time.
Q - Why are hillfigures constructed?
A - For some of the earlier figures it is really speculation but religious significance seems to be the most likely and most accepted reason. The later figures were constructed for mixed reasons, many are memorials to historic events, battles etc. Shoreham and Lenham Crosses are memorials to the dead of the World Wars. The Wye Crown celebrates the Coronation of King Edward VII and the Bleriot memorial commemorates the first cross channel flight. The Wiltshire horses are thought to be copies of the Uffington Horse. Some later figures are advertising like the Whipsnade lion and the Port Abraham teapot.
Q - What are hillfigures made of?
A - Most are chalk, but a few other materials have been used to make hillfigures, concrete, brick, pottery, limestone, quartz, flint and granite, the Red Horse of Tysoe was just the red soil showing where the turf was stripped away.
Q - How are hillfigures made?
A - The construction page will tell you all about it Click here to find out.
Q - Why should I read your website rather than a book, who are you and what do you know about hillfigures.
A - The website contains many hillfigures that the books overlook, why I don't really know the authors MAY be in too much of a hurry to publish and not carry out the research thoroughly. The website is updated regularly and discoveries and news can be conveyed quickly. As to who am I - I have been researching Hillfigures for over 14 years and have visited all the hillfigures and sites of hillfigures to illustrate the website. I have written the Sites and Monuments records for the hillfigures in Kent for Kent County Council and helped update those in Wiltshire and Hampshire. I have lectured on the subject at international conferences written papers and a book on the subject, I was involved with the Devizes White Horse construction, the Brighton Hawk and the Folkestone Millennium Horse Project. My webpage is not a profit making entity although I do sell a few things to help cover the running costs - Click Here to Find out More I run it to provide information on Hillfigures to the general public, and I get enquiry's from around the world. The information is free!
To date the hillfigure homepage has discovered 34 hillfigures since 1995, most of these are not in any books.
Q - Is the website all your own work?
A - Almost, all the work is mine except where stated, some of the information has been published in historical papers and my interpretation is presented here. Some photographs and pictures have been provided for me and they are credited where appropriate, there is also a page acknowledging all the people who have help me in my research from sending me info to allowing me to reproduce parts of their work on the site, so on the whole most of it is mine a the sum of 14 years of research.
Q - Are all the hillfigures in Wiltshire?
A - Most of them are currently 24, there are hillfigures in Scotland, Yorkshire, Kent, Wales, Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckhamshire an East Sussex. There have in the past been hillfigures in Devon, Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire.
Q - Are all the hillfigures unique to the UK?
A - Almost all hillfigures are limited to the UK, although there are a few modern ones scattered around the rest of the world, constructed mainly by British people living abroad.