DISTINCTIVE chalk white horses have been part of the Wiltshire countryside for hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years.

Across the country 13 are known to have existed, with just eight still visible. The oldest is believed to be the Uffington White horse aged at approximately 3000 years old.

There are many stories of other White Horses being created around 300 years ago by estate and land owners who spent large sums of money for artists to chalk out the animals.

The Marlborough horse on Granham Hill was smaller than many of the other horses measuring in at 62 feet long and 47 feet high.

It can only be seen for three miles around, with the best view just out of Marlborough College on Bath Road.

It was made in 1804 and out dates the college although it is often connected to the school. Instead it was pegged out by William Canning, a pupil of a boys school in the town. It was rescored every year by pupils from Mr Greasley’s academy until the school.

The original Pewsey White horse was created in the 18th century however became lost and overgrown. The horse was ordered to be created by Robert Pile of Manor Farm in Alton Barnes in1785. Around 30 years later the White Horse in Alton Barnes was ordered to be made by a man with the same name. Whether it was the same person or possible a relative is not known. It is thought that the reason why the Pewsey horse was never cut again is because the landowner didn’t like the festivities and enjoyment caused by the scouring and so refused the event to take place again.

In commemoration of the Coronation of George VI a new horse was cut by volunteers by Pewsey Fire Brigade in 1937.

The Alton Barnes White Horse got a facelift this month as the RAF helped a school girl make her dreams a reality and re-chalk the animal.

Devizes also has a history of White Horses. Local shoemakers known as the Snobs’ horse cut the horse in 1845. It was easily visible for miles around, however by the 1900s it had became overgrown and a new horse was cut to celebrate the new millennium. Westbury might be the most prominent and oldest of Wiltshire’s White horses. It is hundreds of years old and has been re chalked several times.

In the 1950s it was covered in concrete. This was re done in 1995 and then painted white.