Measuring 180 feet high by 165 feet long with an eye of 12 feet circumference, Robert Pile of Manor Farm, Alton Barnes, paid for its creation
in 1812 so that his village might be on an equal footing with the white horses of Cherhill and Marlborough. John Thorn, a jouneyman
painter, produced a drawing of how the finished horse should look on the side of the hill, set men to work, then made away
with the twenty pounds he had been paid to get the job done. So Robert Pile ended up cutting it himself.
Horses like this one were cut into the chalk hills of Wiltshire by removing the green turf, revealing the soft, white limestone underneath.
The horse seems to have been well looked after over the years, with fairly regular scouring. Recent scourings have been achieved
with the assistance of helicopters from Upavon that have flown in the chalk necessary for the cleaning. Today, the horse
is in a fairly fragile condition due to the relentless action of the hundreds of rabbits that inhabit the area, and a
fence is now protecting the site from the visitors. The horse has been lit on several occasions
by candlelight in recent years.
Eight white horses are still visible in the county of Wiltshire. See http://wiltshirewhitehorses.org.uk/index.html