Fancy taking a hammer and smashing a prehistoric monument — and doing so with permission?

The Uffington White Horse, an iron-age era hill figure formed from deep trenches cut into the Oxfordshire countryside and filled with white chalk needs rechalking.

You’ll be given a hammer and a bucket of chalk and asked to bash the chalk into the monument to give it a fresh clean look.

The rechalking takes place on the weekends of 1st/2nd July and bank holiday weekend of 27th/28th August.

To book a half-hour spot call them on 01793 762209 during office hours.

It’s only half an hour, but just how often are you going to be allowed to go up to an ancient monument and hit it with a hammer?

Getting to the white horse for those of us without a car is, however… problematic. The National Trust website suggests a number of bus routes from Swindon, none of which seem to exist.

The closest match I can find on Swindon Borough Council’s website is bus route 47 which goes from Swindon to Ashbury, from where it’s a modest walk to the White Horse, but be careful about timing as buses are not regular.

Alternatively, a hike or mountain bike ride along The Ridgeway looks pleasant.

If bashing stones hasn’t exhausted you, then you might want to take a detour to nearby Ashdown House, but only on the 1st July as it’s closed on the other rechalking dates, and also nearby is the curious blowing stone.


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  1. Sarah Crofts says:

    According to Alfred Williams, in his ‘Villages of the White Horse’ the Scouring of the White Horse used to be quite an event with wrestling, races, games, a pig hunt in which five competitors claimed the prize but killed the pig in the process. The last of the great games which anyone he talked to remembered was in 1857. I don’t suppose the National Trust will be organising anything like that.

  2. Nigel Holmes says:

    The latest archeological evidence suggests a date of construction between 1400BC to 600BC, with the consensus of opinion favouring the former. This would suggest the Uffington Horse is a late bronze age figure.

  3. Nigel Holmes says:

    Further information can be found at the following website.

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