Cleadon Hills White Horse

General Information

National Grid Ref NZ 393 645

A small horse 3m by 2m painted on a small cliff overlooking SOuth Shields, it is close to the white horse pub. It is now covered in grafitti as is the interpretation board on Valley Way, where you can park.

There are six stories that could be the reason for the painting of the horse.

1. The disapearance of Lady Williamson
Lady Williamson and her husband Sir Hedworth Williamson would ride out along the beach. One tragic day she set out alone on her white mare towards Marsden rock. She was never seen again. In tribute to his master's tragedy, Wareham the satbleman, painted the white horse. 2.Seemed Like a Good idea at the time.
A gentleman landowner by the name of Ness decided to have it painted on a Whim. The white horse was painted to grace his estate and has been repainted by locals ever since, keeping his whim alive.

3. Oops. William Johnson, a keen farmhand, decided to impress his master by breaking in a stubborn white mare, despite being told to leave it for his master to deal with. Things went wrong when the mare broke free and charged over a cliff to her death. The horse was painted to commemorate this.

4. An honest deception
A retired colonel from the Napoleonic wars could no longer ride his treasured white battle charger. He had it kept in a field within view of his house. One day it was stolen. To save the colonel upset the tenant, charged with its care, painted a white horse on the rock. The colonel, none the wiser, continued to admire his faithful white charger from his window till the end of his days.

5. A bad day to go hunting
A huntsman, out with his friends one day, became separated from them. They later found his body at the bottom of a limestone outcrop alongside his whitehorse also dead. The horse here today was painted in his memory.

6. A Lovers' Meeting went Wrong
Nestre, the daughter of a Saxon nobelman called Thalphere, fell in love with a Danish chief, Rolf Hardre. The lovers met on Marsden beach. One day, duting the lovers' meeting, Rolf's white horse wandered off. The lovers were discovered by a party led by Thalphere and during the struggle that followed they were killed. The mare was later found dead at the bottom of the cliff.

Cleadon Horse

Cleadon Horse