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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – 700+ entries as of October 2019.  Most entries have links for further information.

LONG MAN of WILMINGTON

Long Man of Wilmington
LONG MAN of WILMINGTON

The Wilmington Giant, or Long Man, is a 235 foot high figure of a man marked out on the side of Windover Hill, just south of the Sussex village of Wilmington. No one knows who he is meant to represent, or how long he’s been there. The earliest reference is as recent as 1710, but many believe he is much older than that. In 1874, he was outlined in yellow bricks, replaced by concrete blocks in 1969 that are periodically painted white. During the Second World War, the bricks were coloured green so that enemy bombers were unable to use the Long Man as a landmark. Some folk swear he’s an ancient fertility symbol, or a representation of an ancient war-god. His head, apparently, was once shaped as though wearing a war helmet. Or is he a gigantic hoax?

Wilmington's Long Man lacks some of the anatomical features enjoyed by his close relative, the Cerne Abbas Giant (though some believe the Victorians robbed him of it), but that doesn’t mean he’s not worth a brief visit if you happen to be passing. There are public footpaths if you want to get up close and personal – he’s not far from the South Downs Way. Or he can be seen from a minor road between the A27 and the A259, or a public car park just south of Wilmington Priory.

Post code is approximate. Managed by Sussex Archaeological Society.

 

Region:
Location/Address: South Downs Way
Wilmington
Eastbourne
County: East Sussex
Post Code: BN26 5SW
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Tip/Nearby: Seven Sisters, Birling Gap, Eastbourne
Primary Management: Other
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