chalking the white horse

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The first attempt to fly in a Chinook had to be aborted because of bad weather. “The White Horse requires rather more regular maintenance than somewhere like Stonehenge,” he said. White Horse Re-Chalking 2019 THE major task of re-chalking the Alton Barnes White Horse has finally been completed with a little help from the RAF and 60 volunteers. Archaeologist David Miles, who was able to date the horse to the late Bronze Age using a technique called optical stimulated luminescence, told The Smithsonian that the figure of the horse might be related to early Celtic art, where horses are depicted pulling the chariot of the sun across the sky. Long Now London meets on the second Thursday of every month. Today, the National Trust preserves the site, overseeing a regular act of maintenance 3,000 years in the making. Without this regular maintenance, the hill figure would not last more than twenty years before becoming entirely eroded and overgrown. A chalk hill figure requires a social group to maintain it, and it could be that today’s cleaning is an echo of an early ritual gathering that was part of the horse’s original function.”. A simple design of one rampart and ditch, the castle at 860 feet (262m) above sea level forms the highest point in Oxfordshire, with views for miles around over six counties. Chalking/applying baby powder to legs. It’s technique as ancient as the horse itself. On this first visit to the horse, one member brought his kids. Uffington White Horse is an ancient and enigmatic chalk hill figure on the downland of Berkshire. Daniel hopes Long Now London will carry out this “secular pilgrimage” every year. Scribes and historians make occasional note of the hill figure, such as in the Welsh Red Book of Hergest in 01382 (“Near to the town of Abinton there is a mountain with a figure of a stallion upon it, and it is white. The Uffington White Horse is a prehistoric chalk figure in the English hillside shaped like, you guessed it, a horse. Of course, when this primitive drawing was first cut into the hill, the only way to see it in its entirety was from the valley below. The re-chalking is due to take place on Saturday 14 May and is expected to take up to six hours. The White Horse of Uffington remains. Bounding through the millennia, you’d see groups of people arrive from nearby villages at regular intervals, making their way up the hill to partake in good old fashioned maintenance. It's a Other size geocache, with difficulty of 1.5, terrain of 3. The Alton Barnes white horse. email me at lizgo@mindspring.com. Once something becomes a tradition, it attracts meaning, year by year, generation by generation. The south-facing Alton Barnes white horse, which stares out over the Vale of Pewsey from Milk Hill, celebrates its bicentenary in 2012. Just want to get in touch? Across the flank of the hill runs an enormous white, abstract stick figure horse cut from the chalk itself. Get hands on and help us keep this wonderful historic Horse white for future generations. “The physical activity itself is in many ways straightforward. Wiltshire has many of the famed white horses, mainly in southern England, which is well suited because of its geological structure; the hills are solid chalk beneath a thin layer of topsoil. It's a Other size geocache, with difficulty of 1, terrain of 1.5. ... We put a good amount on the night before, and then touch up at the show. The White Horse is maintained on Chalking Day, a ritual where volunteers are given hammers, buckets of chalk and kneepads. One hundred and fifty tonnes of chalk has been dropped on top of a Wiltshire hill in order to spruce up one of the county's famous white horses. Join our community of long-term thinkers from around the world. Two of the oldest and most famous carvings from this period are the Cerne Abbas Giant near Dorchester in Dorset and the White Horse above Uffington in Berkshire, a short detour from The Ridgeway. One of Britain's most famous landmarks has been given a makeover - using 150 tons of chalk. “It might seem strange that the horse’s creators chose such an unstable form for their monument, but archaeologists believe this could have been intentional. Earlier this summer, members of Long Now London took a field trip to Uffington to participate in the time-honored ceremony. Now in the guardianship of the National Trust, it has dominated the landscape for centuries. But it’s certainly been called a horse since the 11th century. Members of Long Now London chalking the White Horse of Uffington, a 3000-year-old prehistoric hill figure in England. Can you give us 30 minutes of your time to help keep the White Horse in tip-top condition' Please check our website for booking details in late May. aloysius_bear. Christopher Daniel, the lead organizer of Long Now London, says the idea to chalk the White Horse came from a conversation with Sarah Davis of Longplayer about the maintenance of art, places and meaning across generations and millennia. The figure is situated on the upper slopes of White Horse Hill in the English civil parish of Uffington, some 10 mi east of Swindon, 8 km south of the town of Faringdon and a similar distance west of the town of Wantage; or 2.5 km south of Uffington. Angry locals branded Sunday’s stunt using cloth over the chalk as “misguided vandalism”. First drawn approximately 3,000 years ago by inhabitants of either the Iron or Bronze age, it requires routine cleaning and preservation. The Uffington White Horse is a prehistoric hill figure, 110 m long, formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. The complexity of creating a figure of this size and shape from the ground is mind boggling. The shape of the horse has changed over the centuries, modified by erosion and repeated recutting. Fostering long-term thinking & responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years. This relatively simple act becomes something we do together—something we remember as much for the communal spirit as for the activity itself. Photo by Peter Landers.. It is enormous — roughly the size of a football field — and visible from 20 miles away. Come and get stuck into this peculiarly … Easily recognizable by air, the horse is temporarily hidden by turf during World War II to confuse Luftwaffe pilots during bombing raids. The problem, however is that this product experiences corrosion, especially in areas of high humidity or salty ocean winds. “And yet that is exactly what infrastructure needs.”. When infrastructure becomes symbolic to a built environment, it is more likely to be maintained. Imagine, if you will, that you could travel back in time three thousand years to the late Bronze Age, with a bird’s eye view of a hill near the present-day village of Uffington, in Oxfordshire, England. “The idea of coming together and gathering with a bunch of strangers was something that is evident in the earliest physical ritual structures that we have in the world today.”, For Christopher Daniel, the visit to Uffington underscored that there are different approaches to making things last. Entire civilizations rise and fall. Im taking a pony to a local show this friday, and she has 4 white socks! Wombling free - Chalking the Horse (GC87M05) was created by The Wombles on 7/6/2019. The Cherhill White Horse had it's annual makeover today as members of the Cherhill Scout Group and volunteers met to to re-chalk it. The horse in the Pewsey Vale has now been spread with 46 tonnes of pristine chalk after Molly Sutherland, 11, was helped by dad Rob to make the dream become a reality. Re-Chalking the Uffington White Horse Sep. 6th, 2018 04:57 pm. The Uffington White Horse is the oldest of the English hill figures. Giant chalk figures have been carved into the downland slopes across southern England since Celtic times – approximately 2,500 years ago. The figure at Cherhill was first cut in 1780 by a Dr Christopher Alsop, of Calne and is the third oldest of several such white horses in Great Britain, with only the Uffington White Horse and the Westbury White Horse being older. Members of Long Now London chalking the White Horse of Uffington, a 3000-year-old prehistoric hill figure in England. From the bottom of the Uffington hill, the sun appears to rise behind the horse. Crowning White Horse Hill is an Iron Age hillfort known as Uffington Castle. It’s fascinated me for years. This made it possible to date the layers of quartz in the trench. The famous figure is one of Oxfordshire's best-known landmarks. The UV rays from the sun breaks down the paint, fades aluminum siding and creates chalking. Volunteers have been helping the National Trust re-chalk the white horse in Uffington. This event will also help you to claim one of your Roadtrip 2015 souvenirs. The Uffington Horse. Researchers still do not know why the horse was made. It's located in … The horse in the Pewsey Vale has now been spread with 46 tonnes of pristine chalk after Molly Sutherland, 11, was helped by dad Rob to make the dream become a reality. Ordnance Survey grid reference: SU 106 637. One theory is that since in Celtic art, horses were shown pulling the chariot of the sun, this horse was placed so that the sun crosses over it. John Thorne, who was paid to design and create the horse by local farmer Robert Pile, ran off with the money before the carving was completed. “The first move towards getting people into larger and larger groups was probably something that was a ritual impetus,” she said. By Kyrie on July 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM. What matters most is that it is done.”. The Horse can be reached from footpaths from the village. These days, the National Trust, which looks after the hill, invites volunteers to help and provides equipment and instruction. “As humans, we are historically biased against maintenance,” Smith said in her Long Now lecture. Image by The77Club. In her lecture at Long Now earlier this summer, Monica L. Smith, an archaeologist at UCLA, highlighted the importance of ritual sites like Stonehenge and Göbekli Tepe in the eventual formation of cities. Top of Page, Michael Garfield - Twitter: @michaelgarfield, What a Prehistoric Monument Reveals about the Value of Maintenance, “Overview: Earth and Civilization in the Macroscope.”, Steven Johnson, Consilience defeats miasma, James Fallows, “Infrastructure Investment Tricks”, Read more about the White Horse of Uffington in Emily Cleaver’s. The results of the testing showed that the horse was created  at the beginning of the Iron Age, perhaps even the end of the Bronze Age, nearly 3,000 years ago. The chalkers kneel and smash the chalk to a paste, whitening the stony pathways in the grass inch by inch. The Alton Barnes horse has a troubled past. No one knows why the horse was made. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Volunteers are being asked to meet at the Black Horse car … Imagine, if you will, that you could travel back in time three thousand years to the late Bronze Age, with a bird’s eye view of a hill near the present-day village of Uffington, in Oxfordshire, England. Print; This piece by the wonderful Robert Krulwich reminded me of a story from my reckless youth. “The ceremony of scouring the Horse, from time immemorial, has been solemnized by a numerous concourse of people from all the villages roundabout,” he wrote. They will be screening Benjamin Grant’s recent Long Now Seminar, Those interested in Long Now London can email. The re-chalking of the 3,000-year-old horse dates back centuries, but was banned in 1857 after an estimated 30,000 visitors and travelers turned up at White Horse Hill and authorities struggled to move many of them on. Aluminum siding first began appearing on homes in the early 1960s. “But thankfully the required techniques and materials are smaller, simpler and much closer to hand.”, Though it requires considerably less resources to maintain, and is more symbolic than functional, the Uffington White Horse nonetheless offers a lesson in maintaining the infrastructure of cities today. If the horse wasn’t maintained, it would be gone in just a few decades, reclaimed by the hillside grass or erased by erosion. For more than 3,000 years, it has run across the flank of a hill — a enormous pictogram the size of a football field and visible from 20 miles away. More », by Ahmed Kabil - Twitter: @ahmedkabil on September 5th, 02019. White horse gets chalky makeover One hundred and fifty tonnes of chalk was airlifted to the landmark. “Sitting there, performing the same task as people in 01819, 00819 and around 800 BCE, it is hard not to consider the types and quantities of meaning and ceremony that may have been attached to those actions in those times,” Daniel says. 01996     The logo, made of clothes, was laid on the Alton Barnes horse in Wiltshire, which had been recently re-chalked by school children. Mystery surrounds the horse. In earlier times it used to be “Scoured” every seven years amidst great festivities – hill figures need regular maintenance if … Pewsey (1937) set a mile south of the village; this Horse overlooks the Vale of Pewsey and is located very close to the site of the original White Horse. That is super cool and something I knew nothing about…Thank you! It's located in Southern England, United Kingdom.A CITO event to help the National Trust re-chalk the Uffington white horse. Its next gathering is at the Royal Society of Arts on Thursday, September 12th at 6pm. Memberships available. It’s 374 feet long with lines up to 10 feet wide, and it’s been scientifically dated to be about 3,000 years old. Hundreds of people helped re chalk the White Horse in the Pewsey Vale during two attempts in July and August . A short walk away you will find Wayland’s Smithy and ancient long Barrow site. It’s technique as ancient as the horse itself. For members of Long Now London, chalking the White Horse revealed that participating in acts of maintenance can be deeply meaningful. More than 100 people are taking part in the re-chalking of the Uffington White Horse. “From the start the horse would have required regular upkeep to stay visible,” Emily Cleaver writes in The Smithsonian. Devizes (1999) the most recent of the White Horses, carved in celebration of the Millennium. The present outline may be only a part of the original: aerial photography shows that a larger, more conventional shape of a horse lies beneath.  Some believe that it wasn’t a horse at all — put could have been a dragon or a mythical creature. The chalkers kneel and smash the chalk to a paste, whitening the stony pathways in the grass inch by inch. Smith gave the example of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to illustrate this point. Have ideas for a post? “Somewhere between five to ten thousand gallons of paint a year, and thirty painters, are dedicated to keeping the Golden Gate Bridge golden,” Smith said. The White Horse is maintained on Chalking Day, a ritual where volunteers are given hammers, buckets of chalk and kneepads. Ed was delighted to join the National Trust in re-chalking the Uffington White Horse. Chalking the Horse (GC5XDZ7) was created by Kermitcar on 8/30/2015. This significant monument is a vital part of the local communities history and Ed thanked all the staff and volunteers who maintain it for the enjoyment of all. It is advertised as "low-maintenance". “Many of the oldest protected routes across Europe are routes of pilgrimage,” he says. Now, fast forward. In so doing, we layer new meaning onto old as we bash new chalk into old.”, The Long Now Foundation  •  Fostering Long-term Responsibility  •  est. Im rather inexperienced with whitening socks, especially since my horse doesnt have any! The Alton Barnes White Horse in Wiltshire had the protest group's symbol placed on it on Sunday just week's after a massive restoration operation led by local children. The Uffington White Horse dates from the Bronze age and doesn’t look like any of the other chalk horses. This horse is a little under a mile north of the village of Alton Barnes, on a moderate slope on Milk Hill on the ridge that extends to Walker's Hill, to the west of the Alton Barnes to Lockeridge road. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Using hammers and buckets of chalk, they scour the hillside to ensure the giant pictogram is not obscured. The originator was a Mr Robert Pile, of Manor Farm, Alton Barnes. Re-Chalking the Uffington White Horse. Chalking or “scouring” the horse was already an ancient custom when antiquarian Francis Wise wrote about it in 1736. The site is owned and managed by the National Trust and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The hill forms a part of the scarp … It’s stylized and elegant – even modern looking. A couple of other members said they want to bring theirs in the future. For any white (from shoulder down) on your horse - ignore if it's all black! “It felt at once both quite ordinary and utterly sublime,” Daniel said. From that vantage, you’d see the unmistakable outlines of a white horse etched into the hillside. Every year, we spend hours scouring the White Horse of weeds and moss and then rechalking it. I want the horse chalking to carry meaning across both time and space. The White Horse is carved into the chalk hillside just above Uffington. Excavation of the site in the 1990s confirmed its prehistoric beginnings. Watch Monica L. Smith’s Long Now Seminar. A mystery white horse and chalking it up to experience. Dated to around 1400 BCE just above the White Horse is Uffington Castle which is a neolithic hill fort. Photo by Peter Landers. The Wiltshire White Horses. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Nothing grows upon it.”) or by the Oxford archivist Francis Wise in 01736 (“The ceremony of scouring the Horse, from time immemorial, has been solemnized by a numerous concourse of people from all the villages roundabout.”). THE major task of re-chalking the Alton Barnes White Horse has finally been completed with a little help from the RAF and 60 volunteers. It is the context and history that elevate those actions into what we found to be a profound experience. Archeologists believe that chalk figures were integral to the social groups of the time; that part of the benefit of the horse was the ritual gathering to maintain it and create a societal bond. It was also interesting to realize that on some level it does not matter why we do this. ACTIVISTS defaced Wiltshire’s Alton Barnes White Horse with Extinction Rebellion’s symbol. “They were stamped out over centuries by people carrying or searching for meaning. Visiting the White Horses is very high on my bucket list of things to do. After the work is done, a festival is held. Much like the White Horse, the Golden Gate Bridge undergoes a willing and regular form of maintenance. If even just a few of us go to the horse each year with this intent, it becomes a tradition. It also showed that the design for the figure was cut into the hill at a depth of up to a meter — not just scratched into the chalk surface. , by Ahmed Kabil - Twitter: @ ahmedkabil on September 5th, 02019 chalking to carry meaning across time! Ahmedkabil on September 5th, 02019 Trust, it is more likely to be aborted because bad... Any of the hill runs an enormous White, abstract stick figure Horse from. Claim one of your Roadtrip 2015 souvenirs — and visible from 20 miles.. From Milk hill, the Horse has finally been completed with a little help the. Gets chalky makeover one hundred and chalking the white horse tonnes of chalk and kneepads show friday! 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