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The Long Man of Wilmington

Hill Figure


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.

The 231-foot high figure, located near Eastbourne, East Sussex, is causing giggles among tourists who were photographing him in all his new glory.

Sussex Archaeological Society, which owns the site, said the appendage could have been part of the ancient Beltaine Celtic Festival. Others observers, including a white witch, said it might have been part of a bizarre May Day fertility ritual.

The adult attachment has been painted on the grass and has not damaged the figure cut into the chalk hillside by Druid settlers and which attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Morris Man Norman Hopson said: "We first noticed it after our first dance this morning, but I promise it had nothing to do with us. I last visited it four weeks ago but nothing had been added."

Henry Warner, a director at the Archaeological Society, said: "This could have been a mindless act of vandalism or it could have been something to do with the Celtic Beltaine Festival. In the Celtic system the festival marks the start of the warm part of the year and was traditionally held at the beginning of May.

"Alternatively it could have been a fertility ritual. The figure may originally have had an appendage, like at Cerne Abbas, but the Victorians who did not approve of such things may have taken it off. But, whoever did this, we can never condone vandalism at the Long Man."

White witch Kevin Carlyon, head of the British Coven of White Witches, said: "I am up in arms over this because I have always said that the Long Man was a woman.

"I take chaps with problems to the Long Man at Wilmington and women to Cerne Abbas, but this makes a mockery of that. I am going to put a spell on whoever did this, but I would not be surprised if there were quite a few naughty romps at the Long Man tonight."

Story filed: 12:23 Wednesday 1st May 2002
Originally published at the following URL:
Posted by RiotGibbon
2nd May 2002ce
Edited 5th July 2007ce

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