Westbury White Horse
The Westbury or Bratton White Horse is a hill figure on the escarpment of Salisbury Plain 1.5 mi east of Westbury in Wiltshire, England. Located on the edge of Bratton Downs and lying just below an Iron Age hill fort, it is the oldest of several white horses carved in Wiltshire, it was restored in 1778, an action which may have obliterated another horse that had occupied the same slope. A contemporary engraving from the 1760s appears to show a horse facing in the opposite direction, rather smaller than the present figure. There is, however, no documentation or other evidence for the existence of a chalk horse at Westbury before 1742; the horse is 180 feet tall and 170 feet wide and has been adopted as a symbol for the town of Westbury, appearing on welcome signs and the logo of its tourist information centre. It is considered a symbol for Wiltshire as a whole; the origin of the Westbury White Horse is obscure. It is claimed to commemorate King Alfred's victory at the Battle of Ethandun in 878, while this is not impossible, there is no trace of such a legend before the second half of the eighteenth century.
Since the late 19th century historians have located the battle of Ethandun at Edington in Wiltshire, some two miles away from the white horse, but this theory is still open to debate. Another hillside chalk figure, the Uffington White Horse, featured in King Alfred's early life, he was born in the Vale of White Horse, not far from Uffington. Unlike the recorded history of Westbury, documents as early as the eleventh century refer to the "White Horse Hill" at Uffington, archaeological work has dated the Uffington White Horse to the Bronze Age, although it is not certain that it was intended to represent a horse. A white horse war standard was associated with the continental Saxons in the Dark Ages, the figures of Hengest and Horsa who, according to legend, led the first Anglo-Saxon invaders into England, are said to have fought under a white horse standard. During the eighteenth century, the white horse was a heraldic symbol associated with the new British Royal Family, the House of Hanover, it is argued by some scholars that the Westbury White Horse may have first been carved in the early eighteenth century as a symbol of loyalty to the new Protestant reigning house.
In Alfred and the Great White Horse of Wiltshire, the Downside Abbey monk Dom Illtyd Trethowan debunked the suggested connection of the White Horse with Alfred and the Battle of Ethandune. Paul Newman suggests in his book Lost Gods of Albion that the horse may have been inspired by the popularity of folly buildings in the 18th century. Wiltshire folklore has it that when the nearby Bratton church clock strikes midnight, the white horse goes down to the Bridewell Springs, below the hill, to drink. By 1872 the horse was considered to have lost shape, by the chalk growing over and being recut. In 1873 it was remodelled by a committee, at the same time substantial edging-stones were added all around the perimeter, to prevent the shape from changing again; the horse was illuminated again in 1950, both times using army equipment. For the 1950 event, traffic in Westbury and Bratton came to a standstill as drivers slowed down to look. In the 1950s the horse was concreted over by Westbury Urban District Council as a way to save on long-term maintenance costs.
Since the concrete has greyed over time, it was cleaned in 1993. In 2003, the horse was vandalised when "Stop This War" was written in yellow across the horse in capital letters in protest of the Iraq War. After the words were removed, the horse was noticeably grey with a white horizontal strip where the message had been. In November 2006, the horse was repainted and the 1950s damage was repaired, as was the white strip; the newly whitened horse was illuminated for a third time on the night the repairs were finished, this time by Second World War searchlights. In July 2010, the neck of the horse was vandalised; this part of the neck had to be rewhitened in 2010, leading to the horse having a whiter neck than the rest of the body. The BBC reported on 2 March 2012 that the horse was to be cleaned again in 2012. Work began 11 April 2012 and was completed 19 April 2012; the cleaning coincided with the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Celebrating the completion of the work, again the horse was lit up with searchlights.
Since the annual Village Pump Festival moved from Farleigh Hungerford to the White Horse Country Park beneath the horse in 2012, the horse has been illuminated at night whilst the festival has been taking place. This is achieved via a tinted spotlight which changes colour every couple of seconds, so the horse appears different colours. Two visitor information signs, on the hill above the horse and in the Viewing Area car park, were placed in 1999 following the completion of Devizes White Horse. On the side of the hill is a toposcope dated 1968, mounted on a small stone structure, which identifies the towns and cities that can be seen from the hillside. For the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, a fire beacon was placed to the side of the road on the top of the hill leading to the car park on 3 June 2002, that resembles the millennium beacons, it is lit sporadically, was lit for the 70th anniversary of VE Day on 8 May 2015. BBC News had a video on 28 June 2018 showing horse being cleaned with high pressure water jets by up to 18 volunteer abseilers.
The cost was given as £3,000, paid for by Westbury Town Council. It stated that the previous clean was in 2016; the Horse can be viewed from up to 16–
The Lansdowne Monument known as the Cherhill Monument, near Cherhill in Wiltshire, England, is a 38 metre stone obelisk erected in 1845 by the 3rd Marquis of Lansdowne to the designs of Sir Charles Barry to commemorate his ancestor, Sir William Petty. The monument was designated as Grade II* listed in 1986, restored by the National Trust in 1990, it is near the Cherhill White Horse
George Stubbs was an English painter, best known for his paintings of horses. Stubbs was born in Liverpool, the son of a currier, or leather-dresser, John Stubbs, his wife Mary. Information on his life until the age of 35 or so is sparse, relying entirely on notes made by Ozias Humphry, a fellow artist and friend. Stubbs worked at his father's trade until the age of 15 or 16, at which point he told his father that he wished to become a painter. While resistant, Stubbs's father acquiesced in his son's choice of a career path, on the condition that he could find an appropriate mentor. Stubbs subsequently approached the Lancashire painter and engraver Hamlet Winstanley, was engaged by him in a sort of apprenticeship relationship not more than several weeks in duration. Having demonstrated his abilities and agreed to do some copying work, Stubbs had access to and opportunity to study the collection at Knowsley Hall near Liverpool, the estate where Winstanley was residing. Thereafter as an artist he was self-taught.
He had had a passion for anatomy from his childhood, in or around 1744, he moved to York, in the North of England, to pursue his ambition to study the subject under experts. In York, from 1745 to 1753, he worked as a portrait painter, studied human anatomy under the surgeon Charles Atkinson, at York County Hospital, One of his earliest surviving works is a set of illustrations for a textbook on midwifery by John Burton, Essay towards a Complete New System of Midwifery, published in 1751. In 1754 Stubbs visited Italy. Forty years he told Ozias Humphry that his motive for going to Italy was, "to convince himself that nature was and is always superior to art whether Greek or Roman, having renewed this conviction he resolved upon returning home". In 1756 he rented a farmhouse in the village of Horkstow and spent 18 months dissecting horses, assisted by his common-law wife, Mary Spencer, he moved in 1766 published The anatomy of the Horse. The original drawings are now in the collection of the Royal Academy.
Before his book was published, Stubbs's drawings were seen by leading aristocratic patrons, who recognised that his work was more accurate than that of earlier horse painters such as James Seymour, Peter Tillemans and John Wootton. In 1759 the 3rd Duke of Richmond commissioned three large pictures from him, his career was soon secure. By 1763 he had produced works for several more dukes and other lords and was able to buy a house in Marylebone, a fashionable part of London, where he lived for the rest of his life, his most famous work is Whistlejacket, a painting of the thoroughbred race horse rising on his hind legs, commissioned by the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, now in the National Gallery in London. This and two other paintings carried out for Rockingham break with convention in having plain backgrounds. Throughout the 1760s he produced a wide range of individual and group portraits of horses, sometimes accompanied by hounds, he painted horses with their grooms, whom he always painted as individuals.
Meanwhile, he continued to accept commissions for portraits of people, including some group portraits. From 1761 to 1776 he exhibited at the Society of Artists of Great Britain, but in 1775 he switched his allegiance to the founded but more prestigious Royal Academy of Arts. Stubbs painted more exotic animals including lions, giraffes and rhinoceroses, which he was able to observe in private menageries, his painting of a kangaroo was the first glimpse of this animal for many 18th-century Britons. He became preoccupied with the theme of a wild horse threatened by a lion and produced several variations on this theme; these and other works became well known at the time through engravings of Stubbs's work, which appeared in increasing numbers in the 1770s and 1780s. Stubbs painted historical pictures, but these are much less well regarded. From the late 1760s he produced some work on enamel. In the 1770s Josiah Wedgwood developed a new and larger type of enamel panel at Stubbs's request. Stubbs hoped to achieve commercial success with his paintings in enamel, but the venture left him in debt.
In the 1770s he painted single portraits of dogs for the first time, while receiving an increasing number of commissions to paint hunts with their packs of hounds. He remained active into his old age. In the 1780s he produced a pastoral series called Haymakers and Reapers, in the early 1790s he enjoyed the patronage of the Prince of Wales, whom he painted on horseback in 1791, his last project, begun in 1795, was A comparative anatomical exposition of the structure of the human body with that of a tiger and a common fowl, fifteen engravings from which appeared between 1804 and 1806. The project was left unfinished in London, he was buried in the graveyard of Marylebone Church, now a public garden. Stubbs's son George Townly Stubbs was an printmaker. Stubbs remained a secondary figure in British art until the mid-twentieth century; the art historian Basil Taylor and art collector Paul Mellon both championed Stubbs's work. Stubbs's Pumpkin with a Stable-lad was the first painting that Mellon bought in 1936.
Basil Taylor was commissioned in 1955 by Pelican Press to write the book Animal Painting in England – From Barlow to
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, for classifying and studying ancient societies. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by producing bronze by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Bronze itself is harder and more durable than other metals available at the time, allowing Bronze Age civilizations to gain a technological advantage. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact that there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition. Although the Iron Age followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic.
Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing. According to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems; the overall period is characterized by widespread use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction and development of bronze technology were not universally synchronous. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques. Tin must be mined and smelted separately added to molten copper to make bronze alloy; the Bronze Age was a time of developing trade networks. A 2013 report suggests that the earliest tin-alloy bronze dates to the mid-5th millennium BC in a Vinča culture site in Pločnik, although this culture is not conventionally considered part of the Bronze Age; the dating of the foil has been disputed. Western Asia and the Near East was the first region to enter the Bronze Age, which began with the rise of the Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer in the mid 4th millennium BC.
Cultures in the ancient Near East practiced intensive year-round agriculture, developed a writing system, invented the potter's wheel, created a centralized government, written law codes and nation states and empires, embarked on advanced architectural projects, introduced social stratification and civil administration and practiced organized warfare and religion. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and astrology. Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The Ancient Near East Bronze Age can be divided as following: The Hittite Empire was established in Hattusa in northern Anatolia from the 18th century BC. In the 14th century BC, the Hittite Kingdom was at its height, encompassing central Anatolia, southwestern Syria as far as Ugarit, upper Mesopotamia. After 1180 BC, amid general turmoil in the Levant conjectured to have been associated with the sudden arrival of the Sea Peoples, the kingdom disintegrated into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until as late as the 8th century BC.
Arzawa in Western Anatolia during the second half of the second millennium BC extended along southern Anatolia in a belt that reaches from near the Turkish Lakes Region to the Aegean coast. Arzawa was the western neighbor – sometimes a rival and sometimes a vassal – of the Middle and New Hittite Kingdoms; the Assuwa league was a confederation of states in western Anatolia, defeated by the Hittites under an earlier Tudhaliya I, around 1400 BC. Arzawa has been associated with the much more obscure Assuwa located to its north, it bordered it, may be an alternative term for it. In Ancient Egypt the Bronze Age begins in the Protodynastic period, c. 3150 BC. The archaic early Bronze Age of Egypt, known as the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt follows the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt, c. 3100 BC. It is taken to include the First and Second Dynasties, lasting from the Protodynastic Period of Egypt until about 2686 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. With the First Dynasty, the capital moved from Abydos to Memphis with a unified Egypt ruled by an Egyptian god-king.
Abydos remained the major holy land in the south. The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization, such as art and many aspects of religion, took shape during the Early Dynastic period. Memphis in the Early Bronze Age was the largest city of the time; the Old Kingdom of the regional Bronze Age is the name given to the period in the 3rd millennium BC when Egypt attained its first continuous peak of civilization in complexity and achievement – the first of three "Kingdom" periods, which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley. The First Intermediate Period of Egypt described as a "dark period" in ancient Egyptian history, spanned about 100 years after the end of the Old Kingdom from about 2181 to 2055 BC. Little monumental evidence survives from this period from the early part of it; the First Intermediate Period was a dynamic time when the rule of Egypt was divided between two competing power bases: Heracleopolis in Lower Egypt and Thebes in Upper Egypt. These two kingdoms would come into conflict, with the Theban kings conquering the north, resulting in the reunification of Egypt under a single ruler during the second part of the 11th Dynasty.
The Middle Kingdom of Egypt laste
Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg
The Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg was an Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, located in northwestern Germany. It was colloquially known after its capital city of Hanover. For most of its existence, the electorate was ruled in personal union with Great Britain; the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg had been split in 1269 between different branches of the House of Welf. The Principality of Calenberg, ruled by a cadet branch of the family, emerged as the largest and most powerful of the Brunswick-Lüneburg states. In 1695, the Holy Roman Emperor elevated the Prince of Calenberg to the College of Electors, creating the new Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg; the fortunes of the Electorate were tied to those of Great Britain by the Act of Settlement 1701 and Act of Union 1707, which settled the succession to the British throne on Queen Anne's nearest Protestant relative, the Electress Sophia of Hanover, her descendants. The Prince-Elector of Hanover became King of Great Britain in 1714; as a consequence, a reluctant Britain was forced time and again to defend the King's German possessions.
However, Hanover remained a separately ruled territory with its own governmental bodies, the country had to sign a treaty with Great Britain whenever Hanoverian troops fought on the British side of a war. Merged into the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807, it was re-established as the Kingdom of Hanover in 1814, the personal union with the British crown lasted until 1837. In 1692, Emperor Leopold I elevated Duke Ernest Augustus of the Brunswick-Lüneburg line of Calenberg, to the rank of prince-elector of the Empire as a reward for aid given in the Nine Years' War. There were protests against the addition of a new elector, the elevation did not become official until the approval of the Imperial Diet in 1708. Calenberg's capital Hanover became colloquially eponymous for the electorate; the electorate comprised large parts of the modern German state of Lower Saxony in Northern Germany. Beside the Principality of Calenberg it included the former princely lands of Göttingen and Grubenhagen as well as the territory of the former County of Hoya.
In 1705 Elector George I Louis inherited the Principality of Lüneburg with the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg upon the death of his uncle Duke George William of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In 1715 he purchased the Duchies of Bremen-Verden from King Frederick IV of Denmark, whereby his former landlocked electorate gained access to the North Sea. In 1700 the territories forming the electorate introduced – like all Protestant territories of imperial immediacy – the Improved Calendar, as it was called by Protestants, in order not to mention the name of Pope Gregory XIII. So Sunday 18 February Old Style was followed by Monday 1 March New Style. In 1714, George Louis became king of Great Britain, so that the electorate and Great Britain were ruled in personal union; the possessions of the electors in Germany grew, as they de facto purchased the Swedish-held duchies of Bremen and Verden in 1719. George Louis died in 1727, was succeeded by his son George II Augustus. In 1728 Emperor Charles VI enfeoffed George II, with the reverted fief of Saxe-Lauenburg, which had de facto been ruled in personal union with Hanover and its one preceding Principality of Lüneburg since 1689.
In 1731 Hanover gained Hadeln. In return, Hanover recognized the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, it took George II Augustus until 1733 to persuade Charles VI to enfeoff him with the Duchy of Bremen and the Principality of Verden, colloquially called Duchies of Bremen-Verden. At both enfeoffments George II Augustus swore that he would respect the existing privileges and constitutions of the estates in Bremen-Verden and in Hadeln, thus confirming 400-year-old traditions of estate participation in government. In Hanover, the capital of the Electorate, the Privy Council of Hanover installed a new ministry in charge of the Imperial Estates ruled by the Electors in personal union, it was called the Department of Bremen-Verden, Hadeln and Bentheim. However the Electors spent most of their time in England. Direct contact with the Electorate was maintained through the office of the German Chancery, situated in St James's Palace in London. During the Anglo-French and Indian War in the North American colonies, Britain feared a French invasion in Hanover.
George II formed an alliance with his Brandenburg-Prussian cousin Frederick II, "the Great" combining the North American conflict with the Brandenburg-Prusso–Austrian Third Silesian or Seven Years' War. In summer 1757 the French invaded Hanover and defeated George II's son Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, leading the Anglo-Hanoverian army, at the Battle of Hastenbeck and drove him and his army into remote Bremen-Verden, where in the former Zeven Convent he capitulated on 18 September, but George II did not recognise the convention. In the following year the British army, supported by troops from Brandenburg-Prussia, Hesse-Kassel and the ducal Principality of Brunswick and Lunenburg again expelled the occupants. Hanover remained unaffected for the rest of the war. After the war ended, peace prevailed; the War of the First Coalition against France with Great Britain-Hanover and other war allies forming the coalition, did not affect Hanoverian territory, since the first French Republic was fighting on several fronts
Chalk is a soft, porous, sedimentary carbonate rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is an ionic salt called calcium carbonate or CaCO3, it forms under reasonably deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite shells shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores. Flint is common as bands parallel to the bedding or as nodules embedded in chalk, it is derived from sponge spicules or other siliceous organisms as water is expelled upwards during compaction. Flint is deposited around larger fossils such as Echinoidea which may be silicified. Chalk as seen in Cretaceous deposits of Western Europe is unusual among sedimentary limestones in the thickness of the beds. Most cliffs of chalk have few obvious bedding planes unlike most thick sequences of limestone such as the Carboniferous Limestone or the Jurassic oolitic limestones; this indicates stable conditions over tens of millions of years. Chalk has greater resistance to weathering and slumping than the clays with which it is associated, thus forming tall, steep cliffs where chalk ridges meet the sea.
Chalk hills, known as chalk downland form where bands of chalk reach the surface at an angle, so forming a scarp slope. Because chalk is well jointed it can hold a large volume of ground water, providing a natural reservoir that releases water through dry seasons. Chalk is mined from chalk deposits both above underground. Chalk mining boomed during the Industrial Revolution, due to the need for chalk products such as quicklime and bricks; some abandoned chalk mines remain tourist destinations due to their massive expanse and natural beauty. The Chalk Group is a European stratigraphic unit, it forms the famous White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, England, as well as their counterparts of the Cap Blanc Nez on the other side of the Dover Strait. The Champagne region of France is underlain by chalk deposits, which contain artificial caves used for wine storage; some of the highest chalk cliffs in the world occur at Jasmund National Park in Germany and at Møns Klint in Denmark – both once formed a single island.
Ninety million years ago what is now the chalk downland of Northern Europe was ooze accumulating at the bottom of a great sea. Chalk was one of the earliest rocks made up of microscopic particles to be studied under the microscope, when it was found to be composed entirely of coccoliths, their shells were made of calcite extracted from the rich seawater. As they died, a substantial layer built up over millions of years and, through the weight of overlying sediments became consolidated into rock. Earth movements related to the formation of the Alps raised these former sea-floor deposits above sea level; the chemical composition of chalk is calcium carbonate, with minor amounts of clay. It is formed in the sea by sub-microscopic plankton, which fall to the sea floor and are consolidated and compressed during diagenesis into chalk rock. Most people first encounter the word "chalk" in school where it refers to blackboard chalk, made of mineral chalk, since it crumbles and leaves particles that stick loosely to rough surfaces, allowing it to make writing that can be erased.
Blackboard chalk manufacture now may use mineral chalk, other mineral sources of calcium carbonate, or the mineral gypsum. While gypsum-based blackboard chalk is the lowest cost to produce, thus used in the developing world, calcium-based chalk can be made where the crumbling particles are larger and thus produce less dust, is marketed as "dustless chalk". Colored chalks, pastel chalks, sidewalk chalk, used to draw on sidewalks and driveways, are made of gypsum. Chalk is a source of quicklime by thermal decomposition, or slaked lime following quenching of quicklime with water. In southeast England, deneholes are a notable example of ancient chalk pits; such bell pits may mark the sites of ancient flint mines, where the prime object was to remove flint nodules for stone tool manufacture. The surface remains at Cissbury are one such example, but the most famous is the extensive complex at Grimes Graves in Norfolk. Woodworking joints may be fitted by chalking one of the mating surfaces. A trial fit will leave a chalk mark on the high spots of the corresponding surface.
Chalk transferring to cover the complete surface indicates a good fit. Builder's putty mainly contains chalk as a filler in linseed oil. Chalk may be used for its properties as a base. In agriculture, chalk is used for raising pH in soils with high acidity; the most common forms are CaCO3 and CaO. Small doses of chalk can be used as an antacid. Additionally, the small particles of chalk make it a substance ideal for polishing. For example, toothpaste contains small amounts of chalk, which serves as a mild abrasive. Polishing chalk is chalk prepared with a controlled grain size, for fine polishing of metals. Chalk can be used as fingerprint powder. Several traditional uses of chalk have been replaced by other substances, although the word "chalk" is still applied to the usual replacements. Tailor's chalk is traditionally a hard chalk used to make temporary markings on cloth by tailors, it is now made of talc. Chalk was traditionally used in recreation. In field sports, such as tennis played on grass, powdered chalk was used to mark the boundary lines of the playing field or court.
If a ball hits the line, a cloud of chalk or p
Broad Town White Horse
The Broad Town White Horse is a hill figure of a white horse located in the village of Broad Town, England. One of eight canonical hill figures in Wiltshire depicting a white horse, it is carved into a 45° slope above Little Town Nursery Farmhouse and is visible for 20 miles; the horse is composed of fine compacted chalk with well defined edges. Although its origin is uncertain, according to Rev. Plenderleath, writing in 1885, it was cut in 1864 by a William Simmonds, who held the farm then. Simmonds claimed that it had been his intention to enlarge the horse over the years, but he had to give up the farm and so did not have the opportunity; the white horse serves as an icon for the village of Broad Town and is regarded as one of the most animated white horse figures in Wiltshire, has been noted for being both conspicuous, due to its being visible for many miles, the "secret white horse," due to its rural location away from main roads. The horse fell into neglect over time, scouring and maintaining the horse was a problem until 1991, when the Broad Town White Horse Restoration Society was formed by local villagers to scour and maintain the horse, which they have continued to do since.
Broad Town White Horse is carved facing west on a long, grass-laden, 45° steep slope above the Little Town Farmhouse, situated half a mile outside the village of Broad Town. The hill that the horse is cut on used to belong to the farm, is located on the most western limit of the same escarpment where Uffington White Horse is cut, overlooking the farthest end of the Vale of the White Horse; the horse is 60 feet in height and 80 feet in length, is "composed of fine compacted chalk." It is the third smallest of the eight canonical white horses in Wiltshire. The horse ties "neck-and-neck" with Hackpen White Horse as the closest white horse to Swindon; the horse is considered the most animated of all the white horse figures in Wiltshire, has been described by writers as a lively, "trotting horse." Although best viewed from the Little Town farm track, the B4041 and the village of Broad Town itself, the horse is visible for some 20 miles, being cut onto a 45° slope, it can be seen "to fine effect" from the Great Western Railway line through Swindon.
Writer Paul Newman describes the horse as a "conspicuous landmark," although some consider the horse obscure, with one writer referring to it as "the secret white horse, difficult to find and harder to see." Barry Leighton of the Swindon Advertiser claimed: "Broad Town could have laid a decent claim to being the most enigmatic of our magnificent mares – because you had to be quick just to catch a glimpse of her – flitting in and out as she does from behind bushes and trees along the Wootton Bassett to Marlborough B401."Visiting the Broad Town white horse can be problematic for visitors. One writer claims that, as there are no designated parking spaces for the horse, it is best for tourists to park their vehicles in the village and walk to the horse from there. A footpath from the farmhouse leading up to the white horse features dangerous steps, the Broad Town White Horse Restoration Society asks visitors not to use them; the society only use the steps for maintenance of the horse, being private land, cannot accept responsibility for accidents.
It is possible to reach the horse using footpaths on top of the hill. The origin of the Broad Town White Horse is uncertain, although there are multiple stories concerning its origin; the most common story, originating from Reverend Plenderleath, writing in 1885, is that the horse was cut in 1864 by William Simmonds, who at the time owned the land and Littletown Farm, whose land the horse was a part of. According to this story, the horse measured 86 feet long and 61 feet tall, but this size were not intended to be the horse's final proportions, as Simmonds had intended "to enlarge it by the degrees" each time he scoured the horse, so that each time he scoured and maintained the horse, the horse's size would grow until it "assumed a impressive aspect." He intended to do this by increasing the size of the horse's outline, according to writer Esther Smith, author of White Horses of Wiltshire & Uffington, "this would not have been a effective way of enlarging the horse. However, Simmonds did not keep the farm land long enough for him to see the horse's size grow to a different size.
"We have been spared the sight of a distorted figure with a short neck and thick legs," Smith wrote. However, in 1919, the Curator of the Imperial War Museum claimed in a local newspaper that he visited the horse as a schoolboy in 1863, when he and a friend spent four or five hours on the hill scouring the horse, adding that an elderly relative told him that the horse had been on the hill for at least fifty years, it is possible he confused Broad Town horse with another horse, but if his account is accurate Simmonds would "merely have been a renovator rather than an innovator." A more vague story of the horse's origin is that it was cut in 1896 by a Mr Hussey, Horsey or Horsley, although Smith concedes that this was a case of recutting the horse after a period of neglect. According to another account, the horse's design "suggests greater antiquity" than 1864, while suggesting that it could have been carved in 1865 to celebrate the birth of Prince George, given as how "church bells were rung across the country and salutes fired in 1865."
During World War II, the horse was successful