The Long Man

Wilmington in East Sussex was not so far from where my family camped. We probably didn’t visit it often for it was quite a cycle ride which was how we got around in those pre-car days. The attraction was ‘The Long Man’.

This giant was nominally the outline of a huge man produced by removing the turf from the hillside and leaving the bare chalk, white in colour, visible underneath. If memory serves me correctly, the Wilmington giant, which was just the outline of a man, had been ‘improved’. I think it was made of white painted bricks,

We loved visiting it and could marvel at the fact that we could all sit – there were five of us – in the Long man’s foot and have a picnic. We athletic youngsters could also run races around him. It was a long way and on a steep downland slope.

On one occasion, my brother modelled himself on the Long Man behind him.


The year was 1957 so my brother was ten years old at the time.

The Long Man was older, but possibly not truly ancient. It may date from the 16th century. He is about 230 feet tall.

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