Marilyn Bridges Photography

Uffington Horse, Oxfordshire, 1985.

Uffington Horse, Oxfordshire, 1985. This wonderful steed stretches some 365 feet in a full gallop on the Berkshire Downs. Its impressionistic rendering resembles that on coins of the Belgae, a Gallic people who moved to Britain from the Continent around 300 BC. The figure, made by removing turf from the chalk undersurface, was probably first cut between 100 BC and AD 100, and if it is Gallic in origin, it might have marked a site sacred to a horse deity. In popular tradition, it is associated with the charger of Alfred the Great, who was born in nearby Wantage in AD 849 and defeated the Danes in 871 at the battle of Ashdown, fought near here. The horse was cared for over the centuries by a ritual scouring which took place every seven years during Whitsuntide.

The Sacred and Secular: A Decade of Aerial Photography  
Photograph from The Sacred and Secular:
A Decade of Aerial Photography
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