One of the things on my bucket list was to visit the site of the Battle of Sedgemoor, and I was able to cross that one off the list.
But…I have a confession to make…I got lost…
How can this be possible? Well, see the photo above? I asked a passing local which direction, and I was told to go down and to the left. I did this, though I passed a little path to the right. I kept walking, and it felt like miles and miles. Ultimately, I was so confused, I had to call my husband to come find me. He was none too happy about driving his Astra twin top sports car on the tractor road, but that’s just tough, isn’t it?
Come on…look at the place!
I do take solace in the probable fact that on the morn on the battle of Sedgemoor, their path obfuscated by the early morning fog, they too lost their way. It was beautiful, however, to be lost in the midst of this agricultural land, surrounded by ditches, with only the sound of the baaing sheep, the whirr of the spring wind, and the toll of the bell from St. Mary’s in the distance. I walked on and on, upon this seemingly endless stretch of land, fearing that I had trespassed upon a farmer’s land, hoping I wouldn’t be shot for doing so.
You can see the tower from the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the battlefield.
But, finally…finally! I went back to my starting point and walked down the path and took a right turn this time, kept going and finally came upon the monument:
“Oh Lord, where is my husband now –
Where once he stood beside me?
His body lies in Sedgemoor
In grave of oak and ivy;
Come tell me you who beat the drum,
Why am I mistreated?
To stand alone, a traitor’s wife,
My will to live defeated.
He swore to me he would be gone
For days but two and twenty –
And yet, in seven years and more
his bed lies cold and empty.”
-Folk ballad, circa 1692
My heart ached for them, those poor souls buried in the fields before me. I was alone, but I didn’t feel alone, knowing that they were there, their bones lying in the soil there for 327 years. It’s amazing to think about this. Such a tragic story, so I sat there upon the old moss-riddled stones, and cleared away some debris that was around it. I sat there and I ruminated over the whole story. I often think that we do not take any time to sit and think of the lives of people who lived long ago, that they had fears and passions – the continuity that is humanity continues on in us.
I found a little dandelion and I made up the following bad verse:
Upon the field of Sedge-moor I espied
This bright yellow flower with mine eye