The White Horse of Mormond Hill

The White Horse on Mormond Hill as seen from the distance

History of the White Horse on Mormond Hill

The white horse of Mormond Hill in Aberdeenshire can be seen for miles around. Constructed of white quartz, the horse is said to have been built by a Captain Fraser in the 1790s after the Flanders campaign. His own horse was shot from under him in battle and his sergeant offered his mount as replacement and was shot in the process. The white horse is a memorial to Sergeant Henderson.

Visiting the Horse

I have visited the horse a few times, by car a long time ago, and also by walking. It’s quite a long walk! From the village of Strichen you head up Hospital Road and keep going. The road becomes a track which leads to fields. You cross a stile at one point. Then there’s a wee path and it all gets rather steep.

But it’s worth it. Look at the views!

Views of Aberdeenshire.

And of course, the horse itself:

Ear of the white horse on Mormond Hill

Folklore

According to a local saying, if you turn round three times in the horse’s eye (just visible in the lower right corner of the above photo), your wish will be granted!

The nose of the white horse on Mormond hill.
The nose.

Do be careful if walking on the hill. Parts of it are boggy and the ground once swallowed a whole tractor.

The remains of an 18th century hunting lodge in Aberdeenshire.

The aforementioned Captain Fraser is also credited with the hunting lodge on top of the hill, now a ruin.

View from the hunting lodge on top of Mormond Hill in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
View from the lodge.

So, lets perform a triple pirouette in the eye of the white horse, have one more gaze across the countryside as we try to pinpoint which village is which… and then it’s time to head back down to earth.

Countryside views from Mormond Hill.

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Bullet points about SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

From the provocative opening scene to the later dramatic and devastating events of the story, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD is a book that will continually surprise, delight, and sometimes shock the reader. The novel features the beautiful hill of Bennachie, and the stone circles of Aberdeenshire along with the cliffs and caves of Cullykhan Bay.

Review from Terry Tyler: “It’s a fabulous story, a real page-turner and so well written. It made me think about the passage and circle of time, of the constancy of the land on which we live and the transient nature of human life. Loved it.” See the whole review here.

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Read the article Aberdeenshire in Roman times takes centre stage in author’s latest book from AberdeenLive.

ballet novel, TENDU, by Ailish Sinclair

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34 Replies to “The White Horse of Mormond Hill”

  1. I find the photo through the window of the lodge the most evocotive of all. And now I know not to go there on my tractor. You earned your ale and bread after this walk. Thanks.

  2. Oh my goodness what fabulous photos. The sweep of the white horse against the sweep of fields and patches of trees all the way to the horizon and the vast sky – you capture the beauty of the landscape wonderfully. I want to go there. A bit far from the south of England but something to aim for!

  3. I grew up in Oxfordshire – they have a white horse (at Uffington) on the side of a hill that dates back to neolithic times. I had completely forgotten about it until I read your post – I’ll have to take the kids to visit it one day.

  4. Great photos and article, thanks for the trip to the White Horse, Ailish! And…,, if you turn round three times in the horse’s eye” …WOW…its a LEGEND:)

  5. Interesting story, Ailish. I always wondered what such hillside images were made of but never really thought it was rocks!

    1. Further south they’re often carved directly into hillsides that are chalk. I think the stone construction of them is unusual.

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