Horse is in Guardianship)
set about improving the setting. They converted ploughland to pasture, took away fences, infilled raw scars in the chalk, removed the old car park on the hill and created a new one in a nearby quarry. The Horse could now gallop on open downland. The National Trust land also contains the hillfort of
Uffington Castle, and several possible barrows, as well as ancient field remains and paths.
It was about time someone took up the challenge proclaimed by Morris Marples. So a group from the Oxford Archaeological Unit, aided by several volunteers, spent an initial weekend in August 1980 surveying the White Horse. More memorable than the results was the experience of camping on the hill and waking to find the Horse bathed in sunlight above a sea of mist.
The guardians of the newly enlarged hill were aware of the problems and conflicts involved in managing, investigating and interpreting an area of such sensitivity. We wished to avoid the sort of criticisms recently expressed by Barbara Bender that 'Generally speaking those involved in the conservation, preservation and mummification of the landscape attempt to jreeze' the past, attempt to make it something that can be excavated, packaged, presented - something over and done with'.
White Horse Hill means different things to different people who use it in different ways.
However the National Trust and
English Heritage agreed that visitors might
CURRENT ARCHAEOLOGY 142