Maud Heath's Causeway
Maud Heath's Causeway is a pathway in rural Wiltshire which rises above the Avon floodplain on sixty-four brick arches, as it carries an undistinguished country road between Bremhill and Langley Burrell.
The causeway is the gift of the eponymous Maud Heath; a sundial on the spot reports that she made her fortune carrying eggs to market at Chippenham. She was a widow and childless, and when she died "in the year of grace 1474, for the good of travellers did bestow in land and houses the sum of eight pounds a year foreer to be laid out on a causeway leading from Wick Hill to Chippenham Clift", which was, the path along which she had tramped to market several times a week for most of her life. Five hundred and some years later, the charity still maintains the path out of her bequest.
The Langley Burrell terminus - at Wick Hill - features an inscription in stone "From this hill begins the praise/ Of Maud Heath's gift to these Highways"'. Further up the Hill is a statue of the lady, erected on a high column in 1838 looking out over the Chippenham mud flats. The statue, in a bonnet and authentic plebeian clothes from the reign of Edward IV, was erected by the great Whig Lord Lansdowne, and features a poem by the critic William Lisle Bowles, who was vicar of Bremhill at the time, which reads: "Thou who dost pause on this aerial height/ Where Maud Heath's Pathway winds in shade and light/ Christian wayfarer in a world of strife/ Be still and consider the Path of Life."
- Map sources for Maud Heath's Causeway
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