Long Man

The Long Man of Wilmington, Sussex, England Pictures

The Long Man of Wilmington is one of the two human hill figures in England, located on the steep slopes of Windover Hill in Sussex (50°48′35″N, 0°11′18″E), six miles (9.6 km) northwest of Eastbourne. The other human figure is the Cerne Abbas Giant in Cerne Abbas, north of Dorchester. The Long Man is 69 metres (227 feet) tall, designed to look proportional when viewed from below.

The origin of the Long Man remains hazy. Originally, the earliest record of the carving was in a drawing done by William Burrell when he visited Wilmington Priory, nestling under Windover Hill. However, an earlier record was found made by the surveyor John Rowley in the year 1710. The 18th century drawing suggested that the original figure was a shadow or indentation in the grass with facial features, rather than just a solid outline of a human figure. The staffs were depicted as a rake and scythe, and the head a helmet shape.

Before 1874, the Long Man was only visible after a light fall of snow in certain light conditions. In that year it was marked out with yellow bricks, though it is claimed that the restoration process distorted the position of the feet, and removed the Long Man’s genitalia (there is no historical or archaeological evidence which supports the latter claim).

In 1925, the site of the Long Man was given to the Sussex Archaeological Trust (now the Sussex Archaeological Society) by the Duke of Devonshire.

The Long Man plays host to Druid rituals on the Sunday closest to the each of the Eight Sabbats through the year, the most noticeable of these being Beltaine (May Day) and Lughnasadh (Lammas) where many Pagans and non-pagans gather to give thanks to nature. The Anderida Gorsedd, facilitated by Damh the Bard, are the current regulars at the Long Man and have been for many years. As many as 112 people have attended these rituals for the Wheel of the year and handfastings and the numbers grow regularly as time goes on. [citation needed]

During the Beltaine time of year the Long Man Morris can be found dancing there.Text in part provided by our friends at wikipedia

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