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Maud Heath's Inscription

In 1474, an endowment was made by a Kellaway's woman, Maud Heath, to build and maintain a causeway from Bremhill to Chippenham. The pathway is four and a half miles long and starts at the top of Wick Hill, near Bremhill and continues through Kellaways to Langley Burrell and onward to Chippenham. In 1698, large upright stone markers were placed to denote the start at and end of the causeway, where an inscription read: -

Hither Extendth
Maud Heath's Gift
For Where I Stand Is
Chippenham Clift.

Writing the first guide to the causeway in 1854, Canon J.E. Jackson wondered why, given the flat nature of its location, the inscription read 'Chippenham Clift'. Since then there has been some discussion on the meaning of 'clift' (or cliff) and whether the marker was moved from elsewhere, possibly during the creation of the railway.

In 1893, the original stone vanished during road improvements. The present marker was erected the following year, bearing the original inscription on a metal plate. Surprisingly, in 1968 the original stone was found during excavations made to construct the new Barclays Bank building in the Market Place. It is now displayed in the Chippenham Museum.

 

Maud Heath's Inscription,
1 Langley Road,
Chippenham

 

NGRef: TBC

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