The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville


West of Winchester on the old Roman Road leading to Kings Somborne lies Farley Mount Country Park,  an ideal place for a picnic or a stroll in the surrounding woods. If you go there you will notice a strange pyramid like monument about half a mile away. It could perhaps commemorate some military or naval victory such as Waterloo or Trafalgar or it could perhaps be a folly erected by some eccentric 18th century aristocrat. But all these assumptions are false as it is in fact an unusual monument commemorating a horse.

A plaque on the monument explains all. It reads “Underneath lies buried a horse the property of Paulet St John Esq who in the month of September 1733 leaped into a chalk pit 25 feet deep whilst fox hunting with his master on his back, and on October 1734 he won the Hunters Plate at Worthy Down races and was ridden by his owner entered in the name of  Beware Chalk Pit”. So grateful that the sure-footed horse had saved him from death in the chalk pit Paulet St John had the monument built in 1740.

A more orthodox horse memorial can be seen inside St Andrews parish church in Mells Somerset. It commemorates Edward Horner, a Lieutenant of the 18 Hussars who died of wounds at Noyelles on 21 November 1917 during the battle of Cambrai. He was the last male heir of the Horner estate. The bronze equestrian statue, about one third life size, was made by Sir Alfred Munnings well known for his horse paintings and later President of the Royal Academy. The base of the statue was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and incorporates the cross which marked Horner’s grave in France. It is a very impressive tribute to a gallant soldier.

John Symonds

Christmas Edition 2014

Farley Mount Memorial

Farley Mount

Copyright Jim Champion and licensed for reuse

The Statue at St Andrews,
Mells, Somerset

Copyright Kevin Jordon and licensed for reuse