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!
And of course, the horse itself:
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!
Do be careful if walking on the hill. Parts of it are boggy and the ground once swallowed a whole tractor.
The aforementioned Captain Fraser is also credited with the hunting lodge on top of the hill, now a ruin.
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.
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36 Replies to “The White Horse of Mormond Hill”
Very interesting, is the white quartz a common stone there? I can’t imagine how long it took to collect the stones needed to create the horse. The photos are wonderful.
Yes, we do have white quartz quarries here.
I enjoyed the read. Greetings from America
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.
Yes, no tractors up there!
It’s on my to-visit list, definitely!
Well worth it.
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!
I hope you get to visit one day!
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.
I had hoped to visit the white horse in Uffington prior to ccp/covid. Nice to know Scotland has their own too.
We don’t have many, I think only two.
I love the look of the Uffington horse.
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:)
Glad you liked 🙂
A very interesting article!
Thank you 🙂
The white horse, so interesting, and what a beautiful memorial. Thanks for explaining it.
It is a beautiful site.
Beautiful images. Fascinating story.
This has been in my must visit list for ages!! Hoping to visit this summer ✨
I hope you enjoy it 🙂
Wow. The white horse is so cool.
It is 🙂
Sue Vincent introduced me to this horse but I never knew the history or the luck thing! Thanks for this!
I didn’t know Sue had written about it. Must seek that out!
Fascinating! I had never heard of this memorial.
It’s not very well known at all.
Interesting story, Ailish. I always wondered what such hillside images were made of but never really thought it was rocks!
Further south they’re often carved directly into hillsides that are chalk. I think the stone construction of them is unusual.
Such a fine memorial! Thank you, Ailish, for researching this amazing piece of history and sharing it with us.
It is a fascinating horse.