Sultan the Pit Pony is a spectacular raised-earth sculpture of a horse that extends over 200 meters in Caerphilly, South Wales. Designed by Welsh artist Mick Petts, the colossal work of art is known as the largest figurative earth sculpture in the United Kingdom.
The sculpture, located in Parc Penallta, offers unobstructed views of the surrounding woods, grasslands, marsh, and trails carved from the former coal tip of Penallta.
Constructed using stone, earth, and 60,000 tonnes of coal shale, the sculpture is called “Sultan” after a well-loved pit pony that reportedly worked in the local mines. Pit ponies were commonly used to haul tubs of coal in underground mines from the mid-18th until the mid-20th century.
Although the last pit pony was retired in 1999, their legacy and Sultan’s magnificent form serve as reminders of the Industrial Revolution that marks a significant part of the UK’s cultural heritage.
Photos by Steve Brockett