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Horsing about earns Alton Barnes White Horse its zebra stripes

Alton Barnes 'white horse'Alton Barnes 'white horse'There was horseplay going on in Alton Barnes today, when pranksters turned the historic White Horse into a zebra.

Desperate to earn their own stripes, the mischief maker - or makers - chose April Fool’s Day to give the 200-year-old chalk horse a makeover.

The 166ft-long horse, which faces south over the Pewsey Vale from Milk Hill - the highest peak in Wiltshire - was carved in 1812. Local squire Robert Pile paid John Thorne - also known as Jack the Painter - £20 to carve the horse, but he ran off with the money and was later hanged for other crimes.

The horse was finally completed by John Harvey from Stanton St Bernard.

There is a tradition of lighting the horse. It was surrounded by candles on the winter solstice from 2001 to 2011, and a lighting culminated in a spectacular fireworks display on a damp June 30, 2012 – marking the 200th anniversary of the carving.

In 2010 the horse underwent major renovation by the landowner Tim Carson and Alton Barnes Parish Council, when 150 tonnes of chalk was delivered to the site by helicopter.

However, it won't take too much work to get the white horse back to its proper colouring: the stripes appear to be made from black plastic sheeting which has been pinned in place.

Print

SBJ
D4S0472
D4S9273
Animals06
Remebrance-18-2
Duke-of-Kent086
Hares017cropped
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
Pete-Gage-Band1
Ogbourne
Big-Bull
Snowy-High-Street
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Musical-Time-Machine5
Sunset
Tina-May5
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08---07
Remebrance-18-1
IMG8472
TdB-Pewsey044
Remebrance-18-3
D812668
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Brazier
Civic-Service-18
CivicSelfie1
Mop-Fair---10-10-09---08
Landscape
MYFC005
Turin-Brakes6
Sunset2
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
Camilla-2012-10-19152
White-Horse
Scouting-for-Girls7
Roving-Crows1
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
JazzFestSat572
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
4MI-2013-11-28030
Brooks-Williams1
Gordon-and-Sam
George-Wilding-301
ARKManton-2012-01-1449-
Camilla-MSM
Torch-2012-05-23093-
IMG9097