Although technically located along the boundary of Bratton, the ‘Westbury’ White horse is considered one of the oldest of the Wiltshire horses and reputed to have been first created in 878, the current shape dates from the 1770’s. Situated on Westbury Hill, the white horse overlooks the Iron Age Hill fort ‘Bratton Camp’, the white horse is ideally placed for public viewing, surrounded by idyllic countryside, one could say the white horse is a marvel of English Beauty. It is a favourite spot for picnics, walking, kite flying, hang gliding and para gliding.
Next to the White Horse is Bratton Castle. This Iron Age Hill Fort has defensive ditches cut into the hillside.
The White horse that currently overlooks Westbury dates from 1778, although it has been inferred that a white horse previously occupied the site. This has been supported by the work of Reverend Wise, who published “Further Observations on the White Horse and other Antiquities in Berkshire” in 1742, white refers to a White horse in Westbury. From the observations made by Rev Wise, one could imagine the original White horse dated back to Saxon era (due to design). However a singular record referencing the design isn’t definitive proof, the Horse may have been designed in a pseudo-Saxon fashion.
The White Horse and Bratton Hill Fort, with it’s amazing views and history, are occasionally used as film and TV locations, but did you know the site is owned and managed by 3 different authorities? If you’re looking to use the White Horse and Bratton Hill Fort for commercial filming then you will need permission from the following authorities and bodies:
English Heritage are custodians of the Westbury White Horse hill figure and Bratton Hill Fort. For permission you need to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Natural England are responsible for the management of the Bratton Downs SSSI, which includes land surrounding Westbury White Horse. For permission you need to contact the responsible officer at: email@example.com
Wiltshire Council are responsible for some of the area, including the car park and you will need to obtain permission to carry out activities on Wiltshire Council land from the Environment Authorising Officer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The area backs on to Salisbury Plain, which is MOD Training land.