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Pewsey White Horse

Pewsey, Wiltshire

Featured Location Guide

This NNW facing horse, is the smallest of the Wiltshire white horses at 66 feet long, but larger than the earlier one nearby which was 43 feet long. It can be seen from many places along the A345 near Pewsey, but when coming into the area from the south or south west it is the larger and more prominent Alton Barnes horse that you generally see.

This horse is on Pewsey Hill about a mile south of Pewsey, to the east of the minor road that leads from the A345 on the edge of Pewsey to the village of Everleigh. It is a little above and a little to the left of the site of the old horse.

The horse faces left, and is a well-proportioned representation of the real horse. It is on a good slope, and looks out across Pewsey Vale towards the Alton Barnes horse. Some say you can also see the Devizes horse from the Pewsey vale at the same time as the Pewsey one, but we did not spot it, although we were able to see the Alton Barnes one.

George Marples, an authority on hill carvings, was researching the old white horse in 1937, when a local committee was looking for a way to commemorate the Coronation of George VI.  Mr Marples was asked for ideas on the design of a new white horse to solve this.  He produced three drawings, each with the year 1937 above the horse, and one of these was selected.

Mr Marples devised a triangulation method for the marking out of the horse, his original design and method can be seen by clicking here. It was cut by volunteers from Pewsey Fire Brigade in April 1937, which included the year as well as the horse. The horse is well-maintained today, but the year has been allowed to grow over, and no longer visible.

The Old Horse

The horse was cut by, or on the instructions of, a Robert Pile of Manor Farm, Alton Barnes, thought to be around 1785. The Alton Barnes white horse was cut some twenty-five or thirty years later by a Robert Pile of the same address, either the same man or his son. The Pewsey horse was scoured in 1789, and this was probably the first and last scouring, as the landowner objected to the festivities which accompanied it and refused to allow it again. We can only wonder what went on.

By the mid 1800s it was in a  poor state , and by the 1930's, the chalk was no longer visible, but the outline of the head and body could just be made out, both as raised contours revealed by the light of the newly risen sun and as a discolouration of the grass.

From a sketch of the contours still visible in 1939, the horse may have been of fairly good proportions, and it faced left as most Wiltshire White Horses do. Some say the horse had a boy rider, but there was no visible rider in the late 1800s when the chalk was still visible.

Further information Grid



Pewsey White Horse, Pewsey, Wiltshire

Ceremonial County: Wiltshire

Grid Reference:


Map Link:

Ordnance survey SU170580

Aerial photo:




Best Times to Visit:





WWH (New)

wiltshirewhitehorses.org.uk/pewseyold.html (old)

Other useful websites:

www.hows.org.uk/personal/hillfigs/lost/pewsey.htm (old)

www.hows.org.uk/personal/hillfigs/pewsey/pewsey.htm (new)

Nearby Locations: Old Marlborough Road
Other Relevant pages:

Introduction to hillside figures

How to photograph hillside figures

Listing of hillside figures



Planning Grid


Pewsey White Horse, Pewsey, Wiltshire

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

Found to the east of the minor road that leads from the A345 on the edge of Pewsey to the village of Everleigh.


The Figure can be visited from the top of Pewsey Hill where there are footpaths leading to the horse and places where a car may be parked although not designated parking places.





Things To Do, See and Photograph:

White horse.

What to take:


Nature highlights:

Country location







Opening times:

Open all the time



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions: None
Special Needs Access: None, but can be seen from road
Special Needs Facilities: None
Children Facilities: Not the best horse to visit with children, its smaller and not as interesting.
Dogs Allowed: No known restrictions.

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: pewsey Topic: Hillside Last Updated: 01/2012


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