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Kilburn White Horse


The Kilburn White Horse was finished on 4th November 1857 and is believed to be the most northern and possibly the largest White Horse in Britain, being 318’ long and 220’ high (though it was designed to be 314’ long and 228’ high). It faces south-south-west and is situated near Roulston Scar, to the south of Sutton Bank.

Thomas Taylor funded and organised the construction of the White Horse which was based upon a drawing by Harrison Weir. John Hodgson, a school master and friend of Taylor, marked out the design with his pupils and some local volunteers. A work force of thirty one men then cut the horse and whitewashed it.

Key Dates:
1896 The Kilburn White Horse was severely damaged in a storm.
1925 Following a time just after World War I when the Kilburn White Horse was allowed to fall into disrepair. The Yorkshire Evening Post came to the rescue and started a restoration fund to pay for the necessary grooming.
1939 With the dawning of WWII, the Kilburn White Horse was covered over so that this distinctive landmark could not be used by German bombers as a aid to navigation whilst attacking Britain. It remained covered until 1946.
1949 Another storm severely damages the hill figure.


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