The Long Man of Wilmington

The Long Man of Wilmington is a hill figure located in Wilmington, East Sussex on the steep slopes of Windover Hill. The Long Man is 69.2 metres (227 ft) tall and designed to look in proportion when viewed from below. The figure is one of the two human hill figures in England - the other being the Cerne Abbas Giant, north of Dorchester.

"The Long Man's stance was seen on the 4th-century coin, showing a soldier holding two standards, then again on a 7th-century example of a Saxon belt buckle, found in Finglesham, Kent. This discovery showed a Saxon warrior with a spear in each hand. Similar analogies were discovered between Uffington horse and Iron age coins, but that figure was subsequently shown to have been more than 1000 years older than the iron age. The astronomer John North considers that the Long Man was Neolithic and began as a cursus, merely utilising the two parallel white chalk lines. He suggests that the twenty-eight degree incline of the hill was so similar to that of Silbury's thirty degrees that even without the figure of the Long Man, the parallel lines would have done the required job. North suggests that the shapeless figure was added later to depict the Orion, or human, constellation. Like other hill figures, the Long Man has changed from time to time. Sir William Burrell's drawing of 1766 shows the figure holding a rake and scythe, both shorter than the parallel lines, though it is impossible to know how much of Burrell's illustration was real and how much was interpretation. A century later, in 1874, the Reverend W. de Sainte Croix decided to eliminate the problems of seven-year scourings in order to clean the figure. Instead, he restored it with yellow bricks cemented together. Until another T.C. Lethbridge appears on the archaeological scene, it is impossible to know whether the current Long Man of Wilmington is a complete as was intended by his builders." - The Modern Antiquarian by Julian Cope, Thorsons, 1998. 0-7225-3599-6.

And the theory of office23 - is one of sex, fertility and birth. The British landscape is holy, a temple, its caves are catacombs and sky its heavenly vaults; something I think William Blake would have recognised. In this landscape as church, mosque and temple is to be found the image of Mother Earth, she is revealed in Mam Tor in Derbyshire, (Mam meaning Mother), Mither Tap (Mother Tit) and Tap O'North (Northern Tit) of Aberdeenshire. Elsewhere in the landscape can be found the two other aspects of the Great Mother, the Virgin at Maiden Castle in Dorset and the Crone in the Irish 'Sliab na Caillighe' (translated as 'Hill of the Hag').


The Long Man of Wilmington or more acurately Windover Hill is analogous to the Mother Goddess. Standing before the hill it takes the form of a recumbent pregnant Mother in childbirth; truncated legs to the left and right, concave sex to the centre. The parallel white lines mark the walls of the womb and the Long Man a 70 metre long baby!


Like the tumescent Cerne Abbas giant of Dorset (the only other surviving 'human' chalk cut figure) the Long Man stands close to a Christian religous centre and their survival of various religious purges is often theorised. Perhaps the Long Man, as a child made of earth survived because of the following: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." - Genesis 2:7