Weymouth was a popular holiday destination for George III and his court, and it has been said that Weymouth was the centre of the Empire during the frequent periods when the King was in residence. He loved the local countryside and would ride his favourite charger Adonis across the Ridgeway to visit friends.

In 1808 John Ranier (brother of Admiral Peter Ranier), James Hamilton (a local architect), and local landowner John Wood decided to honour the King by creating a figure on the hillside depicting the king riding his favourite charger. Sadly, due to illness, the King was unable to return to Weymouth and therefore did not see this mark of loyalty by his subjects.

The integrity of this monument, which is 85 metres long and nearly 100 metres high, has been steadily deteriorating despite attention over the years by volunteer groups. Its outline had become increasingly ill-defined due to encroachment by plants and ad hoc unauthorised adjustments, and from 160 tonnes of Portland limestone scalpings that were mistakenly put on to the figure in 1989.