Cherhill White Horse – Cherhill, England - Atlas Obscura

Cherhill White Horse

Cherhill, England

The geoglyph once sported a glass bottle eye. 


The Cherhill White Horse is England’s third oldest equine geoglyph. The giant chalk carving shares its hill with the Lansdowne Monument, which was erected in honor of Sir William Petty, a noted English philosopher, economist, and scientist.

The enormous equine was cut into a hillside in Calne, England in 1780 under the supervision of Doctor Christopher Alsop, a “mad doctor” who reportedly dictated his directions from a distance via megaphone. The nearby Westbury Horse most likely spurred its creation. The two geogylphs have since inspired the addition of other nearby chalk horses.

At some point in the 19th century, the horse acquired a gleaming glass eye made from upside down bottles shoved into the ground. However, these eventually disappeared after people in search of souvenirs began snatching them. A local youth center replaced the bottles in the 1970s, but those too eventually vanished. The geoglyph now sports an eye of stone.

The Cherhill White Horse made an appearance in The Timelord’s 1988 music video for their song “Doctorin’ the Tardis.” But that isn’t its only connection to extraterrestrial oddities—the horse’s hillside home is known for the occasional onset of crop circles.

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