Chalk hill figures in Dorset include perhaps the areas most famous and enigmatic resident - the Cerne Giant. The giant is carved into the chalk on a steep hillside above the village of Cerne Abbas, north west of Dorchester. He stands 180 feet tall, making him the largest human chalk figure in Britain.

Nobody knows for sure when the giant was created or who he is meant to represent. Is he a pagan fertility god, the Celtic huntsman Herne, a tribute to a Roman emperor based on Hercules or a more recent symbol created by the local 'clubmen' in the Civil War?

Whichever is true, one thing is for certain - he is the most unique feature of Dorset's heritage!

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Dorset's other chalk hill figure is the white horse at Osmington. This is one of the largest chalk horses in England, and the only one with a rider. It was created in 1808 as a local tribute to King George III, who was a regular visitor to Weymouth. The King's patronage of the town had a huge influence on its development as a resort.


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