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Devizes White Horse

Devizes, Wiltshire

Featured Location Guide

This is the newest of Wiltshire's white horses and is located around a mile from where an older one had been. The new horse was to mark the millennium created in 1999, however for many years there had been talk of recovering or recreating the lost one, which although completely grown over for many years now, the outline could still be detected in some situations.

The 1999 horse is the same design as the earlier one but turned to face the opposite way, the only one in Wiltshire facing to the right, as the Uffington White Horse    does. Luckily in 1954, while the old horse was still visible, following a research project by pupils at Devizes Grammar School, Peter Greed a 6th form pupil, drew up plans for recreating it. It was these plans that were used to create the new one. The task of creating it involved two hundred local people with the assistance of heavy machinery supplied by Pearce Civil Engineering. The chairman of the Millennium White Horse project was Peter Greed (same person as boy above) and you can see him involved in placing a time capsule containing items pertinent to Devizes and Britain at the end of the twentieth century under the head of the horse, by clicking here.

Its easy to find and see from an industrial estate, but not very photogenic and shortened by the position you are at.

The previous Devizes White Horse

It was not possible to recut the original horse due to this now being classed as a site of special scientific interest, and this was the reason for the move. The original site was SU 000647, about a mile west of the current horse,  this was on the west side of Roundway Hill just below Oliver’s Castle hillfort, 2 miles north of Devizes, 3 miles south of Calne and 2 miles east of Bromham. This was an ideal site for a hill figure, overlooking the valley on a steep slope.

This previous horse,  locally known as the ‘Snobs horse' was cut at Whitsuntide in 1845 by a Devizes shoemakers apprentice (Snob is an old word for shoemaker). It was  lost in about 1922, but at various times bits of the outline have been visible, the last time I can find recorded being in 1979 when freak lighting conditions and a fine dusting of snow, brought the outline of the head and back of the horse into view. There was a plan in 1939 to recut it, but the Second World War then took the attention away, and all horses were for the war years covered up, so enemy planes could not use them to navigate.

Further information Grid



Devizes White Horse, Wiltshire

Ceremonial County: Wiltshire

Grid Reference:


Map Link:

Ordnance Survey SU016641

Aerial photo:




Best Times to Visit:

Any time, but best when sun is reflecting on horse.






Wiltshirewhitehorses.org.uk/devizesold.html (Old)

Other useful websites:

www.hows.org.uk/personal/hillfigs/devizes/devizes.htm (New)

www.hows.org.uk/personal/hillfigs/lost/devi.htm (Old)

Nearby Locations:

Devizes Locks, Wiltshire       Devizes Locks Gallery

Other Relevant pages:

Introduction to hillside figures

How to photograph hillside figures

Listing of hillside figures



Planning Grid


Devizes White Horse, Wiltshire

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

The horse can be seen well, though somewhat foreshortened, from Hopton Industrial Estate and from near Roundway village.


To visit the site of the horse, take the A361 out of Devizes towards Swindon. Just before the first big roundabout, take the left turn signposted Roundway and Garden Industrial Estate, then follow the narrow lane to Roundway village. In the village, take the right fork by the phone box. Beyond the village take the right fork on the hill. At the top of the hill, there is a stile on the right which gives access to the site. A few yards further on there is a parking area on the left.


Parking in industrial estate to photograph or near site see above, for visiting the horse.



Things To Do, See and Photograph:

White Horse

What to take:


Nature highlights:








Opening times:

All the time



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions: None
Special Needs Access:  
Special Needs Facilities:  
Children Facilities:  
Dogs Allowed:  

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Keith Park Section: White Horse & Hillside Features Key:
Page Ref: devizes Topic: Hillside Last Updated: 01/2012


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