The Author


Welcome to the Hillfigure Homepage, I am Mark Hows who single handedly runs this unique site. It is a culmination of over 10 years of work researching hillfigures. I have concentrated on British figures although there is a little section on some foreign figures.

I first got interested in Hillfigures many years ago but did not have the means to travel or pay for photographic and library services (which are even now expensive) when I had the means I traveled to all the hillfigures and sites of lost figures and carried out extensive research on all the figures. I have had to spread myself a bit thin considering there are over 80 known figures (some now lost) so there are people who know more about a particular figure then I but I am sure I have the broadest knowledge and certainly the most in depth for certain figures.

So why did I create the hillfigure homepage? - Well during my research there were a couple of text books on the subject, Morris Marples the best and that was 50 years old (although revised a little in 1981) the more modern books had several inaccuracies and omitted several figures and even though they have both been updated in the last 3 years they still omit several figures. So the quality of research out there in the major books was lacking. I am not criticising books on individual figures they have taken a much more in depth look and all the ones I have read are very good. The general information was not there so I wrote the hillfigure homepage which started in 1995 and was formerly at my university site http://www.mds.qmw.ac.uk/medicine/personal/hillfigs/mainwh.htm, this took off and the site moved to its current home in late 1997, when I finished being a student.

The site now covers every figure ever known, and every figure under construction / planning as well as extensive information about construction, historic pictures, maps, plans, information on visiting the hillfigures and I have had considerable input from some of the societies who care for Hillfigures and I am a member of most of them.

I could have put this information in a book (and indeed I have written on on the Hillfigures of Kent Book) but this medium enables discoveries to be put in the public domain very quickly. I never intended to make money out of this. I make no profit and I do it because I want to tell people about hillfigures and replace some of the inaccurate books on the subject.

I do sell a few items, a CD-ROM of the site and a few guide sheets, Click Here to Find out More this helps cover some of the cost of photcopying information but that about all unless there is a big rush on CD's shortly. I need to sell another 7 CD's to cover this years photocopying alone, so everything else is paid for by myself. I am therefore most grateful to people who send me references see list below for ones required. And to those people who let me put their photos and information on my site, and I get help and inquiry's from around the world, their names are throughout the pages where appropriate and on the Acknowledgement Page

So what are my credentials - I have written the Sites and Monuments records for the hillfigures in Kent for Kent County Council and helped update those in Wiltshire and Hampshire. I have lectured on the subject at international conferences written papers and a book on the subject, I was involved with the Devizes White Horse construction and am involved with the Folkestone Millennium Horse Project and the Charlton Wyvern and the Brighton Hawk project. I am currently involved in the restoration of the West Clandon Dragon and have recently been involved in the maintenance of the Uffington White Horse and the Lamb Down badge.

I am also considering a hillfigure of my own when the above ones are finished and I have more time.

HOW CAN YOU HELP - Well I am always after information, photos (particularly old ones or postcards), drawings, maps (particularly old ones), books, newspaper cuttings or references see list below of ones I currently want, although any not listed would be appreciated. Contact me further if you have any information at all.

References Wanted

If you have any of the following references please let me know I would be most grateful of a photocopy It costs at least 4 to get a copy of one reference from my local library.

General Current investigations are The Red Horse of Tysoe, Newburgh Bear, Port Abraham Tea Pot, Devizes 'Snobs Horse', first Pewsey Horse, Firle figure, Inkpen horse and Ditchling Cross.

Any references about these figures wanted urgently

List of References Wanted

If you have any question you want answered them please e-mail me