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Devizes (New) white horse

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Date Added: Jul 19, 2006
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Category: Huge man-made structures, rock carvings, artwork

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This is the newest of the Wiltshire white horses. Designed by Peter Greed, it was cut by around two hundred local people in 1999 to mark the millennium. It is on Roundway Hill to the north of Devizes, overlooking the village of Roundway. This horse is the only one in Wiltshire, and one of only four in Britain, to face to the right.
In 1954, pupils at Devizes Grammar school researched the old Devizes horse, and one of them, Peter Greed, drew up plans for re-creating it. Nothing came of that at the time, but years later, in 1998, Sarah Padwick, who was new to the area and then unaware of the old horse, wrote to a local paper suggesting that a Devizes hill figure should be cut on Roundway Down to celebrate the millennium.
Chris Combe, a local tenant farmer, offered land on Roundway Hill for the project, and the owners, the Crown Estates Commissioners, gave their approval for the land to be used. It was decided that a reversal of the design drawn up in 1954 for re-creating the old Devizes horse should be used, and thus the new horse faces right. Work began on the site in August 1999, ultimately involving some two hundred local people with the assistance of heavy machinery supplied by Pearce Civil Engineering. By the end of September Devizes had a new white horse, which is now maintained by the Cavaliers of the Devizes Millennium White Horse. On my last visit in April 2004 the horse was in good condition.
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.

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