Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Is The White Horse Really a Dragon?
Dragon Hill near Uffington in Oxfordshire is in local folklore the place where St George, the patron saint of England (and many other countries), slew the dragon. As "proof" of this deed there is a patch of chalk on the top of the hill where the grass never grows because it is said this was where the dragon's blood was spilt. It's a wonderful legend and a fabulously atmospheric site with the ramparts of Uffington Iron Age Castle looming above and the sweep of the Manger below. It is said that on the night of the seventh moon the ancient chalk figure of the Uffington White Horse comes alive and goes down to the manger to graze.
According to one legend, St George was a soldier in the Roman army who killed the dragon to save a princess in true fairy tale fashion. However as is often the case with legend St George has many incarnations and his story many different interpretations. You can read more about St George here.
Some people believe that the figure of the White Horse is actually a representation of a dragon in homage to
You can walk to the Uffington White Horse and Dragon Hill from Ashdown House, or vice versa. It is only a few miles along the ancient track of the Ridgeway, past the long barrow at Waylands Smithy. White Horse Hill was this week named by the organisation VisitEngland as one of the top places to visit in the UK. A walk in this historic landscape is a mystical and atmospheric experience.