How Much Water Would Westbury’s White Horse Need To Drink Every Day?

by | Feb 10, 2020 | Blogs

Though not quite as famous as Salisbury’s Stonehenge, Westbury’s White Horse is itself a relic of a bygone era. Should you detour from the fabled stone circle, located just off the A303, and head up onto the A350, you may notice the chalk-carved filly off in the distance. But why is there a giant white horse cut into the Wiltshire countryside? And, as a matter of curiosity to our team, how much water would it need to drink if it was a real horse?

I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with… H?

Standing (laying?) at roughly 170 metres wide by 180 metres tall, the White Horse is one of several adorning Wiltshire’s hilly landscape. This particular horse sits at the foot of Bratton Camp, an Iron Age hillfort which Anglo-Saxon King Alfred the Great (849-899 AD) is thought to have defended against the Vikings at the Battle of Ethandun in 878 AD. The horse itself was carved out to commemorate Alfred’s victory much later during the late 17th Century, though it should be noted commemoration is not the only reason for a white horse to be cut! During the 1950s it was decided that, to prevent the horse from being overgrown, concrete would be laid and painted to reduce maintenance costs. This was repeated again during the 1990s. Now a popular destination for local and visiting amblers alike, the horse is easily-accessible from the B3098, and enjoys a lofty reputation as the #1 thing to do in Westbury (though we can also recommend several good pubs if the great outdoors is not your forte). 

Spare a gallon for an old ex-horse carving

So now we have established why there is a rather large horse up at Bratton Camp, let’s get into the hard maths

According to the RSPCA, the average fully-grown horse (15hh) drinks anywhere between 30 and 50 litres of water every day. 

15hh (hands) = 60 inches, or 5 feet tall. – This equates to 152.40cm, or 1.524 metres

With the help of a trusty calculator, this means our giant concrete friend is ~118 times bigger than the average horse.

So, finally, if we multiply 30 to 50 by 118, we can absolutely and scientifically* conclude that the Westbury White Horse would drink 3540 to 5900 litres of water every single day. That’s equivalent to the capacity of FOUR standard fire engines.

So there you have it: a mystery absolutely absolutely no one wanted solved brought to a thrilling end. Though we at ADS have a love for supplying only the best water to your homes, we do not recommend adopting a 170x180m horse as there is a chance your water bill may induce fainting.

*Disclaimer: there is absolutely nothing scientific about this, but you have to applaud the effort…