“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Beware Chalk Pit!

It seems to me that recently this blog has focused on a number of weird and unusual monuments. Keeping to this theme I have recently visited another striking monument, this one being dedicated to a horse.

A few miles west of Winchester is Farley Mount Country Park, which is named after the local hill (Farley Mount). This hill is home to a folly, which is unsurprisingly known as the “Farley Monument”. The monument stands in memory of a horse named “Beware Chalk Pit”, which is reportedly buried beneath the monument. The horse in question was owned by a Paulet St. John Esq., and it is said that whilst out fox hunting in September 1733, that the horse and rider fell into a twenty five foot deep chalk pit. Both rider and horse survived this calamity and in October of the following year this “lucky” horse was entered into the Hunters Plate on Worthy Downs under the name of “Beware Chalk Pit”. The horse won the race, and this victory is presumably the reason why the owner created such a magnificent folly in honour of the animal.

The inscription on the monument explains the story: “Underneath lies buried a horse, the property of Paulet St. John Esq., that in the month of September 1733 leaped into a chalk pit twenty-five feet deep afoxhuntiing with his master on his back and in October 1734 he won the Hunters Plate on Worthy Downs and was rode by his owner and was entered in the name of "Beware Chalk Pit".

What the inscription does not explain however, is how much was the prize money for winning the Hunters Plate, and did Paulet St. John have any change left over after building such an impressive folly?

The Monument.

The explanation.
The view from inside the monument.

Pictures, Hampshire (February 2014).

If you find this post interesting please share it using the buttons below.

No comments:

Post a Comment