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EARTH MYSTERIES

The Uffington White Horse

The White Horse is cut out of the turf on the upper slopes of Uffington Castle near the Ridgeway. It is 374 feet long and thought to represent a Celtic god or tribal symbol. For centuries, however, local people have maintained that it is a portrait of the dragon slain by St. George on the nearby Dragon Hill.


The photograph on the left shows a view over the head of the White Horse (in foreground: eye to the left, ears to the right) along the length of the body. As can be seen, it is almost impossible to make sense of the figure while onthe hill into which it has been cut. The photograph on the right shows a standing detail of the eye and the "beak", both of which, close-up, are surprisingly small. I'm always amazed at how well they show up when seen from far away, such as from the vale, or in an aerial photograph.



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