9/10/2019

What a Prehistoric Monument Reveals about the Value of Maintenance

"Entire civilizations rise and fall. The White Horse of Uffington remains. Scribes and historians make occasional note of the hill figure, such as in the Welsh Red Book of Hergest in 01382¹ (“Near to the town of Abinton there is a mountain with a figure of a stallion upon it, and it is white. Nothing grows upon it.”) or by the Oxford archivist Francis Wise in 01736 (“The ceremony of scouring the Horse, from time immemorial, has been solemnized by a numerous concourse of people from all the villages roundabout.”). Easily recognizable by air, the horse is temporarily hidden by turf during World War II to confuse Luftwaffe pilots during bombing raids. Today, the National Trust preserves the site, overseeing a regular act of maintenance 3,000 years in the making."