Saturday, 8 March 2014

Ride a White Horse


White Horse Hill
Sunny, 14º, light SSE (windier on WH Hill).

A trip to White Horse Hill (highest point in Oxfordshire @ 262m) today as Loren had not been there before and as the weather was amenable it seemed a good day for a visit.

Apparently there has been a human settlement/activity on the hill for the last 5,000 years going back to late Neolithic times. The “White Horse” itself probably dates from the Iron Age (c2800 ya) and may not actually represent a horse and it is similar in design to a figure found on “Celtic” coins. Still a lot of debate about the site.

There is also an Iron Age fort known as “Uffington Castle” on the hill and the “White Horse” may have been associated with this as a tribal symbol. The circular fort itself covers 3 Hectares and is surrounded by a rampart and a ditch. It may have been used as a stronghold or a trading area or most likely both.

Dragon Hill immediately below the “White Horse” is a small artificially flat topped hill. Legend has it that St George killed the Dragon there and its blood spilled and poisoned the grass. There is now a bare patch of chalk where the grass will not grow.

The “Manger” is a steep sided valley that was carved by a retreating glacier during the last Ice Age.

The site is managed by the “National Trust” and is an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

As for the birds there were several Skylark present along with around a dozen Meadow Pipit and a lot of Corvids around the Sheep grazing areas, also a few Buzzard in the air and a Kestrel.

Another Brimstone in the garden this morning and the Blackcap present, also a Sparrowhawk overhead.

                        The "White Horse" from the air (courtesy NASA)
The White Horse from a different angle


 Next to the White Horse

 Dragon Hill
The Manger

 Self explanatory
 Loren on the ramparts
 White Horse Skylark
 Chaffinches in the garden (Loren)

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing that information, I find wildlife blogs sometimes focus solely on the birds etc. (not that I mind) and often neglect everything else around them, it is refreshing to find a post that stands out :)

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