Chalk Hill Figures

WARNING: This post contains 1000-year-old cartoon nudity.

Some day I would like to see the chalk Hill Figures in England. Because of the properties of the local soil, one can carve art into the turf and fill it with nearby chalk rubble. The earliest work of art, the Uffington White Horse, is from 1380-550 BC.

Generation after generation, the locals cut back the grass and replenish the chalk. If not maintained, it will grow over. But if the town neglects it for a few years, they can still retrace and recover it.

What I love about this, is that even though it is a centuries-old tradition, it is not sacred. Take the Cerne Abbas Giant, or “Rude Man.”

This year scientists determined he’s from 700-1110 AD. So he’s from the Christian Era, but seems pretty pagan. Or maybe he’s not pagan, just rude. Like I said, these things aren’t sacred. The townspeople have no problem updating him to current times. In the Victorian Era they got rid of the phallus; it was later brought back.

In 2007, he faced off Homer Simpson! (Homer was just chalk that washed away, they didn’t dig out the grass)

And in 2020, he was given a covid mask! I’m often jealous of places that get to keep up cool millenia-old local traditions.


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