In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Vale of White Horse like this:
WHITE HORSE (Vale of the), the valley of the river Ock, in Berks; extending about 15 miles east-north-eastward, from the vicinity of Shrivenham, to the vicinity of Abingdon. It takes its name from the figure of a galloping horse, on the NW face of a chalk hill 893 feet high, and 4 miles SE of Shrivenham. The figure is said to be a memorial of Ethelred and Alfred's victory of Æscendune; measures 374 feet in. length, and about an acre in superficies; can be seen, in favourable weather, at a distance of so much as 15 miles; undergoes a scouring, at an annual rustic festival, by the neighbouring inhabitants; and is the subject of a curious ballad in the Berkshire dialect. The hill is crowned by a large oval camp, and commands very fine views. Wayland Smith's cave, celebrated in Sir Walter Scott's "Kenilworth," is in the vicinity.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Vale of White Horse has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Vale of White Horse. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Vale of White Horse and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Vale of White Horse in Oxfordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th May 2013
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