The following photographs were taken during a walk I made along the route as described in the previous entry Lead Walk – Maps.
The road from Abingdon, down which Richard Burgess drove with his cart of bones for delivery in Oxford.
It was near here, where the red car is parked – slightly hidden from view – that Stephen Hedges and his accomplices asked Richard Burgess to stop, before heading off to steal the 154 lbs of lead. From that moment on, Hedges’ fate – along with that of Henry Stockwell – was sealed.
The entrance to Radley House where the car is parked on the right hand side.
When there were no cars driving past – which didn’t seem very often – I would find myself imagining Stephen Hedges looking around him, just as I was doing. I’d see a bird against the clouds and for a second I was him, walking down the road with the horse and cart. I could almost hear their conversation, muffled as if I had an ear to the ground.
When I did imagine a moment in 1828, for some reason my mind returned to my childhood, to Risinghurst where my Nana lived. I wondered about Stephen’s past and his childhood.
I’ve no idea of course what the clouds were like above the road that fateful day, but with the document I have recording the clouds on the voyage to Australia, the fairweather clouds above seemed ominous.
It wasn’t the safest walk I’ve ever done. Walking has long been forgotten here. But empathising with individuals long since lost to the past can only be done at that speed.
A bin bag. It reminded me of the heavy bag Burgess describes. Little did he know it was full of lead.
A milestone – one you can see if you’re going slowly enough.
Bagley Wood. The same shape it seems as it was in 1828.