Long Man of Wilmington gets seasonal spruce up

The Long Man of Wilmington has received its season spruce up thanks to the hard work of volunteers and an archaeological team.

The Long Man of Wilmington, located by the A27 five miles outside of Eastbourne, is Europe’s largest portrayal of the human form.

The display dates back to at least 1710 when the surveyor John Rowley illustrated the figure.

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It was gifted to the Sussex Archaeological Society in 1925 by the Duke of Devonshire and the group has cared for the monument ever since – ensuring it is free for the public to access.

Members from the Sussex Archaeological Society by the Long Man of Wilmington

As part of its regular programme of maintenance, teams from the society took their tools up to the Downs to tend to the area around the landmark.

After four hours of hard graft, the grass around the white outline was trimmed back so that it remains visible for miles around throughout the summer months.

Head gardener at Michelham Priory James Neal, who oversees the maintenance of the Long Man, said, “The Long Man is a much-loved landmark and it’s with real pride that the society – with the support of our amazing volunteers - tends and cares for it.

“Now we have carried out this work, the white outline should remain visible throughout the summer season, acting as a welcome sight for those passing.”

Members walking up to the Long Man of Wilmington

Until the 19th century when it was marked out in yellow bricks, the Long Man was only visible in certain light conditions.

During World War II the figure was painted green to prevent enemy aviators using it as a landmark.

The Long Man of Wilmington after the works