About Me

My photo
Loving all stylish and wonderful things in life, fashion and interiors. I am English but living my life in the fabulous city of Melbourne in Australia. Welcome and please read on.... (contact me at sjstubbs19@gmail.com)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

White Horses of Wiltshire and the garden

Just before I came back to Australia a couple of weeks ago I took these photographs to show you... The first is of a white horse chalk carving high up on the hills very near our cottage in Wiltshire. In fact I pass it most days when I am in England - quite majestic isn't it ? I thought it was looking particularly lovely that evening with the rapeseed flowers at the fore front. Wiltshire is the county for white horses. There are or were at least twenty-four of these hill figures in Britain, with no less than thirteen being in Wiltshire, and another white horse, the oldest of them all, being just over the border in Uffington, Oxfordshire. Most of the white horses are chalk hill carvings, and the chalk downs of central Wiltshire make it an ideal place for such figures.
Of the thirteen white horses known to have existed in Wiltshire, eight are still visible, and the others have either been lost completely, or are in a sense still there, under the turf, but have long since become grown over and are no longer visible.
The Uffington white horse is of certain prehistoric origin, being some three thousand years old. Most of the others date from the last three hundred years or so. The one above I believe dates from around 1857.

The next couple of photographs are the last ones I took of the garden the day I left the cottage just after I had done a last tidy up - mowed the lawn and done a little thinning and pruning...

You can see from the photo how tiny the garden is - it runs down the side of the house and the white cottage at the back of the photograph is my neighbour's. Still, it is the perfect size and can be looked after from afar with a friend of ours (who happens to be a landscape gardener) coming in every 10 days or so during the Summer to check on the shrubs etc. and mow the lawn - really it needs very little actual looking after which is a good thing in the circumstances.

Particularly like this photo - wonder if the roses around that door have come out by now?


  1. Your garden's sweet and lovely. And that white horse. I had no idea. Astonishing.

  2. hi sarah,

    what a fascinating post re the white horses. this is the best part of blogging! how on earth would i have ever been made aware of this. thank you so much.

    now on to the quintessential english garden! what a lovely little spot. it is exactly as i imagined. a darling little cottage with roses climbing set in a charming little space. i adore these images. you are a lucky gal.

    sarah, do you live in australia for work purposes only? do you plan to go back to england to live? i don't know how you can leave such a pretty spot.


  3. What a cozy spot to sit and take in all that beauty...the arc of the path, the potted plants, the climbing rose and that amazing roof, it all comes together with such charm.
    Those horses made of chalk are quite incredible...I must do some internet research and find out more...they are so unusual.

  4. How hard it must be to leave. You have a wonderful life in Oz so that helps I suppose.

  5. Amazing-the white horse! I had n o idea such existed, simply wonderful! And your cottage-so idyllic, charming! Thank you for these pictures!

  6. Oh My God the GARDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE it. Perfection. Love the horsey too. Very mystical and ancient- how or why'd they do it???

  7. My mouth was ajar (pretty image) as i read the post and saw the picture of the white horse chalk carving. Amazing.

    And your garden, oh, oh, oh,I love. What color is the rose?

  8. Hello all - glad you like the white horse - thought it might be a something that unless you know that part of England you may not have seen before...

    Janet - I am in Australia because of Mr SE really... he was offered a job way back in Sept. 2006 and ummmed and aaaahhhed about whether he would take it.. In the end he did in Jan 2007. At that time my daughter (from my previous marriage) was still finishing her education in England so I could not leave UK full time - Mr SE knew this and so we managed with a very part time marriage...(more about all this at beg. of the blog if you want!!) It was very hard at times, but not impossible. Am not really sure how long we will be here. Mr SE's job is open ended but it is tough leaving everything in UK. I think I will let out the cottage for a while. Poppy (daughter) is due to start University in UK in September in the North of England.

    FF - am not sure exactly why they have carved the horses in the Wiltshire hills - maybe because of the chalk hills but why horses I wonder? In one part of England there is a huge Fertility symbol of a man with an erect part of his anatomy carved into the hill!!!

  9. Flwrjane - glad you like the post and the garden - the rose is a pale pink blush colour - sorry, think I was replying above when you posted your comment..x

  10. This garden is just so lovely! It's inspiring me to get mine in order. One of these days! ;)

  11. Lovely pics of the cottage and garden, hope to visit it in the summer with Steve for a weekend.xxx

  12. I absolutely love your garden! Gorgeous. I adore English gardens. You must miss it a great deal. I had forgotten about the horses. I remember reading about them years ago and I love the fact it has been preserved. The age of it is mind blowing. I remember being awestruck in Scotland visiting Hadrian's Wall and some Roman Bath ruins. As a history buff I was in heaven.

  13. Hi Sarah how are you!!?? How is the weather in Melbourne? It has been quite cool here which is pretty unusual for Brisbane. I bet it must be getting very cold down in Victoria!

    I must make sure that Holly sees this post Sarah. I saw something like this on our train ride to Paris-would this be the same horse?

    Hope you have a fabulous weekend and take care.

    Best wishes,

  14. Dear SEP, what a beautiful cottage and garden, just stunning. I remember always passing the White Horse (I suppose it was the Uffington one) on the way to stay with my father when I was a little girl, I haven't thought about it for years, so thanks for making me think of it.

  15. Hello SemiExpat,
    That white horse photo certainly is majestic.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Geographically, the UK really is so different to Australia. I've never been and would love to visit soon.

    SSG xxx

  16. Pleased that you all liked the White Horse photograph...
    Natasha - no, the one you saw on your way to Paris (if you went by Eurostar) is in Kent and is a modern one I think but rather nice all the same.
    Blighty - hello and welcome and thanks for the comment - have enjoyed your comments and guest post over at FF's blog.

  17. Your cottage and the garden is so adorable! I'd love to live some place like that.

    I've seen one of those white horses many years ago, while I was a student at the English Language Institute in Colchester. We went on a study trip to Bath, and passed one on the way. Truly amazing.

  18. Hello, I found you through LPC. That is the most stunning picture of White Horse Hill and you're right about the rapeseed flowers. The angle is perfect -- it looks as if the horse is trotting.
    Very nice to find your blog too. I'll come back often.

    Miss W

  19. Wonderful garden!
    My Mum is from Wiltshire and I remember how very impressive the white horses are in real life.


Thank you for dropping by and for your comment.....