Big Picture

Riding high atop White Horse Hill

Engraved in the earth near the crest of a 261m-high peak known as White Horse Hill, and overlooking the undulating terrain of the Vale of White Horse district, lies one of Britain's most magnificent and beloved historic monuments: The Uffington White Horse.

The Bronze Age stylised figure in Oxfordshire, in south-east England, is believed to be about 3,000 years old, and only part of the unique complex of ancient remains. Other prehistoric sites, such as Wayland's Smithy, a neolithic tomb, are located nearby.

The animal, which measures about 110m from ear to tail, is thought to be the work of an inspired artist, perhaps prehistoric, who scraped away the grass on the hillside to reveal the chalky soil underneath. The result is a breathtaking image of the horse that stands out brilliantly white against the lush green turf, visible on clear days from as far as 32km away.

The horse gets a good clean every seven years. Last month, 60 volunteers got on their hands and knees and spent the day rechalking the creature.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2015, with the headline 'Riding high atop White Horse Hill'. Print Edition | Subscribe