Perched atop one of the highest hills in Hampshire stands a striking folly that has withstood the test of time. This monument commemorates the courageous actions of a horse named Beware Chalk Pit.
It was during a fox hunt in September of 1733 when the horse made a daring leap into a deep chalk pit, keeping its owner Paulet St. John safely on its back. Although the incident could have been fatal, both St. John and his loyal steed landed safely thanks to the horse’s quick-thinking leap. They were fit enough to compete and win the prestigious Hunters Plate just over a year later.
The plaque on the folly bears witness to the incredible feat, with words that read: “Underneath lies buried a horse, the property of Paulet St. John Esq., that in the month of September 1733 leaped into a chalk pit twenty-five feet deep a foxhunting with his master on his back and in October 1734 he won the Hunters Plate on Worthy Downs and was rode by his owner and was entered in the name of “Beware Chalk Pit.”