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The Long Man of Wilmington

Hill Figure

<b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by CursuswalkerImage © Sorcha
This site is of disputed antiquity. If you have any information that could help clarify this site's authenticity, please post below or leave a post in the forum.
Also known as:
  • The Lone Man
  • The Lanky Man

Nearest Town:Seaford (7km SW)
OS Ref (GB):   TQ543035 / Sheet: 199
Latitude:50° 48' 35.55" N
Longitude:   0° 11' 25.22" E


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News

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Long Man of Wilmington to get scout restoration

A 235ft (72m) chalk carving cut into the hillside near Eastbourne in East Sussex is to be restored by scouts.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-22732907
scubi63 Posted by scubi63
1st June 2013ce

Apology to Pagans over Long Man stunt


Sussex Express 18/7/07:

THE SUSSEX Archaeological Society has apologised to protesters after they allowed a controversial stunt by ITV to give the Long Man of Wilmington a sex change... continues...
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
19th July 2007ce

Pagan groups protest against filming


The following links provide news coverage of the protests regarding filming at The Long Man in July 2007.

Note:These sources were originally contributed to this page as separate posts by Cursuswalker, but in the interests of brevity, the TMA Eds have taken the opportunity to condense them into one post... continues...
Posted by TMA Ed
9th July 2007ce
Edited 9th July 2007ce

Long Man Spruced Up

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/sussex/6591483.stm

The concrete blocks of the Long Man got a fresh coat of whitewash at the weekend - the first time since 1999.

The article credits this mammoth feat to both the Territorial Army and the local morris dancers. I'm assuming these are mutually exclusive groups, but who knows.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
30th April 2007ce

Solstice celebrated at Wilmington Long Man


More than 60 druids gathered on the top of the flat hill to the west of the Long Man crest at 2pm.
They took part in a rite to mark the 'feast of the unforgotten sun' where their activities were watched with enthusiasm by dozens of Sunday walkers... continues...
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
7th January 2005ce
Edited 14th January 2005ce

Long Man site vandalised


Within the past few months, hunt - supporting vandals have painted the slogan "NO BAN", in letters which must be at least 8 feet high, roughly 200m to the left of the long man of wilmington. Unlike previous "pranks" involving paint, this has been done by burning the grass away completely, I think they may have used creosote... continues...
Posted by HopHead
4th December 2004ce
Edited 7th December 2004ce

Long Man 'Decorated'


Local wits decorated the hill figure last week to leave no doubt about his sex. They also gave him a smiley face and decorated the staffs as flags, using white paint.

Sussex Past, the organisation responsible for the Long Man's maintenance, is investigating the vandalism... continues...
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th August 2004ce
Edited 4th August 2004ce

Long Man Is 16th Century?


Prehistoric Long Man is '16th century new boy'
By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent
(Filed: 02/10/2003) Telegraph

http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&xml=/news/2003/10/02/nchalk02... continues...
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd October 2003ce
Edited 6th October 2003ce

Twenty foot penis painted on ancient hill figure


An ancient hill figure carved into the South Downs has sprouted a 20-foot penis overnight in what experts say could be a bizarre May Day celebration.

The discovery has been made by the Long Man Morris Men who are visiting The Long Man of Wilmington to celebrate May Day... continues...
Posted by RiotGibbon
2nd May 2002ce
Edited 5th July 2007ce

Images (click to view fullsize)

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Photographs:<b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Rhiannon <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by TK <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by IronMan <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by IronMan <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by IronMan <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Darksidespiral <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Damonm <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by ocifant <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by ChrisP <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by kgd <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by RiotGibbon <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by RoyReed Maps / Plans / Diagrams:<b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by ocifant Artistic / Interpretive:<b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Martin <b>The Long Man of Wilmington</b>Posted by Cursuswalker

Fieldnotes

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My wife went and took more pictures for me on 28/7/06.
As I was putting them up on TMA I discovered that the CA have put the original article on this BACK on their website, including the offending picture.

Considering the fact that the damage is still visible at the Long Man I find this unbelievable.
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
2nd August 2006ce
Edited 2nd August 2006ce

I visited the Long Man again last Friday (21/7/06). The vandalism caused, or at least supported, by the C*ntryside Alliance is still very much visible, as the quality of vegetation is different where the letters were burnt on the hillside.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures. I'll try to get back there sometime soon.

I still have a copy of the web-page on which the CA condoned this action. They took it down originally as soon as they realised that it might not have been such a bright idea after all.
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
27th July 2006ce

What can I say about the Long Man him/herself?

At first sight, up close, it will be a disappointment, consisting, as it does, of concrete blocks painted white. For me the real delights of this site lie above him on Windover Hill, and I have added these as associated sites.

The best way to experience the Long Man, in my view, is to sit on the flat platform to his/her right, formed from the spoil of a small chalk pit, and picnic/chill/meditate/whatever takes your fancy and involves sitting there.

This is a site where I have attended many open druid rituals and it is a wonderful setting. After a while those concrete blocks begin to speak to you….
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
25th October 2003ce

[visited 14/07/03] Been here a couple of times before, but this was the first time I've climbed the hill (Like Dyer says, you can see it with binoculors perfectly well from the carpark :).

It apparently dates from Saxon times, though as per the rumour is something was painted here well before that. I will say the hill surface it is on is surprisingly flat and to my mind marks the quarries, almost like a first attempt at a billboard!
juamei Posted by juamei
16th July 2003ce

Went to Eastbourne during the first weekend of August for the pagan Lammas festival. Cisited the Long Man the day after. It looked well impressive from the road especially as behind the wall we espied druid rites happening. Some of us went. Some of us went to the pub.

Also checked out the churchyard. Noticed the tree had been dressed in many coloured ribbons.

Our fieldtrip was well worthwhile but mostly for the fun of being witih the folk we were with from Ken Rees' Mythology, Folklore, and Witchcraft class which happens in Notting Hill. If you want to check out this class you can phone Ken on 020 8671 6372. Tell him Rich told ya.
Posted by wmsjarchetype
28th August 2002ce

This is a wonderful place. Above the long man there are a series of ancient burial mounds, in various styles dating from different periods. This place has been sacred for a very long time. Local legend says that there was once a goddess on the hill next to the long man who is now lost.

Also worth checking out is the 5,000+ year old Yew tree in the local churchyard. This is truly an amazing tree, and probably predates all around it (except the hill!) and marks the spot of the original shrine in this area.
Posted by doublethink
12th February 2002ce
Edited 27th October 2003ce

(Visited 4/8/00)

After a long climb, we were above the man himself, but couldn't see him anymore. We decided not to clamber down, as they are trying to prevent erosion on the hill.
However, its definitely worth continuing over the top of the hill, to explore the barrows and be rewarded for all your efforts by breathtaking views in all directions.
Rob Gillespie Posted by Rob Gillespie
15th January 2001ce

Folklore

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I was told in 1875 that the Long Man at Wilmington (called Wilmington Giant by the people of the neighbourhood) was cut on the hills before the Flood.

There are remains of a castle above Wilmington Priory; pilgrimages were made from the castle to the priory, and, at the time of the pilgrimage the giant (Long Man) was slain by the pilgrims.

I was also told that the giant on Firle Beacon threw his hammer at the Wilmington giant and killed him, and that the figure on the hillside marks the place where his body fell.

I was told this again in 1890, and in 1891 was further informed that the Long Man carries spears, not staves, in his hands, and that an upright line (which I was unable to find) runs from top to bottom of the hill a little to the east, and another a little to the west of the figure.

A man told me that the Wilmington Long Man was a giant who fell over the top of the hill and killed himself; he also said that "a boy cut it out; they can't trace its history, it goes back so far."

Another man told me that the Wilmington giant was killed by a shepherd, who threw his dinner at the monster. The sun cast a shadow on the hill; the monks marked the place, and cut an outline; thus the Wilmington giant was made.

"One of the Romans" was buried in a gold coffin under the Wilmington giant.
Scraps of Folklore Collected by John Philipps Emslie
C. S. Burne
Folklore, Vol. 26, No. 2. (Jun. 30, 1915), pp. 153-170.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st October 2006ce
Edited 1st October 2006ce

This proverb is apparently found in Fuller's Worthies of England (1662):

"When Firle Hill and Long Man has a cap
We at A'ston gets a drap."

(I found it mentioned in Notes and Queries for May 3rd 1884)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th August 2006ce

There have been many suggestions as to what the Long man represents, including a warrior, a god, or the giant who was killed by the Firle Beacon giant. Another legend has it that the long man fell and broke his neck, his body being outlined in chalk where he lay before it was buried in a long barrow on the hilltop. A Roman in a golden coffin is said to lie buried beneath the Long man. pure joy Posted by pure joy
21st March 2003ce
Edited 3rd July 2007ce

Miscellaneous

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'Pro-hunt slogan burnt into landmark hillside'
Evening Argus 15/9/04

Hunt supporters burned the words No Ban into grassland beside the famous Long Man of Wilmington. The 235ft downland chalk figure at Wilmington, near Eastbourne, was one of 14 countryside spots across the UK targeted by the Countryside Alliance. Round bales of hay were used to scorch the earth with 20m-high words ahead of today's debate by MPs to outlaw hunting with dogs.

In a move designed to stoke up support for their campaign, the group sought permission from landowners before making their stand. Organiser James Hallett said East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was notified in advance and the fire was started about ten yards left of the Long Man. He said: "This was a signal to the Government we are coming for them. They have bitten off more than they can chew this time. The Government has chosen the path of prejudice and spite. The reaction it unleashes will be its own responsibility. The lighting of the No Ban fires are our signal to this Government that we will not be beaten by such bigotry and intolerance."

Firefighters in East Sussex received several calls from people driving along the A27 as the controlled fire was started. A fire brigade spokesman said: "Once we realised it was controlled burning, we just let it run its course and stuck around to make sure it didn't spread."

It is not the first time the ancient Long Man has been targeted. In July, vandals defaced the chalk figure with obscenities and anti-war slogans. A large appendage was added and slogans scrawled on the surrounding grass. However, the visual impact of the site has also been used to highlight charities and campaigns from National Hospice Month to World Sight Day.
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
20th July 2007ce
Edited 21st July 2007ce

I am adding some sites on Windover Hill, the site of the Long Man of Wilmington. These photographs were taken nearly 4 years ago and I have only just dug them up!

The landscape above the Long Man is well worth a visit for those who don't mind shapes in the grass with no interesting rocks cluttering up the place. We don't really do rocks in this neck of the woods.

(See the Goldstone, in Brighton, for a notable exception. The only megalith to have had a football ground named after it!)

The fact that a large Neolithic Long Barrow and a large Bronze Age Round Barrow seem to be aligned with the space on which the Long Man now stands is something that I find intriguing. While the Naturalistic figure of the Long Man could only be Roman at the very oldest, I believe there to have been something on this site for a very long time. If only we could see what were the original designs on this hill.
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
23rd May 2003ce
Edited 24th May 2003ce

Links

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Archaeology Data Service


Shape-shifting: the changing outline of the long man of Wilmington.
An article by Rodney Castleden, in the Sussex Archaeological Collections 140.

The figure was bricked in 1873, and there was some argument about what the proper outline should be. It had long been grassed over but could still be seen albeit indistinctly - in 1800 it was called 'The Green Man'. The earliest known drawing comes from 1710.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st August 2013ce

Trinny and susannah at the Long Man of Wilmington - Day 1


This You Tube presentation covers the first day of filming on the figure, including evidence of irresponsible practices on the part of ITV.
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
8th August 2007ce

Pagans protest at Trinny & Suzanna TV show


This is the You Tube video of the protest at the Long Man of Wilmington on Monday 2nd July 2007, against the stunt that involved 100+ women trampling all over the Long Man for the TV show "Trinny and Susannah Undress"
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
16th July 2007ce
Edited 8th August 2007ce

Sussex Archeaological Society


This is the information page on the Long Man of Wilmington on the Sussex Archaeological Society website.
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
11th July 2007ce

www.old-maps.co.uk


This is an 1878 map of the Long Man of Wilmington, and the surrounding area, from a website that is fascinating from an MA point of view.

They allow re-use of images under the conditions laid down here: http://www.old-maps.co.uk/terms.htm
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
17th August 2005ce

University of Reading


New work overturns date for chalk Long Man of Wilmington.
Rather old news now, but this covers the discoveries linked to the excavation in 2003.
danielspaniel Posted by danielspaniel
11th July 2005ce
Edited 4th July 2007ce

The Countryside ignites!


Page from the Countryside Alliance's own website, bragging about the vandalism, including a picture of it taking place.

17/8/05 UPDATE: They seem to have removed the picture. What a shame...

2/8/06 UPDATE: It's back again. Maybe they think the heat is off now...

5/7/07 UPDATE: And it's gone again
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
1st April 2005ce
Edited 5th July 2007ce

The Long Man of Wilmington


I am adding some sites on Windover Hill, the site of the Long Man of Wilmington. These photographs were taken nearly 4 years ago and I have only just dug them up!

The landscape above the Long Man is well worth a visit for those who don't mind shapes in the grass with no interesting rocks cluttering up the place. We don't really do rocks in this neck of the woods.

(See the Goldstone, in Brighton, for a notable exception. The only megalith to have had a football ground named after it!)

The fact that a large Neolithic Long Barrow and a large Bronze Age Round Barrow seem to be aligned with the space on which the Long Man now stands is something that I find intriguing. While the Naturalistic figure of the Long Man could only be Roman at the very oldest, I believe there to have been something on this site for a very long time. If only we could see what were the original designs on this hill.
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
5th June 2003ce