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Illustration of Dick Turpin, from a 1932 railway poster.

Illustration of Dick Turpin, from a 1932 railway poster.

Photo: "To York, Dick Turpin's Ride (poster)" by London & North Eastern Railway is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

A Ghostly Highwayman on the B4047

Before the A40 dual carriageway was built, the main road between Witney and Burford was what is now the B4047. A particular stretch of this road close to the Asthall turn is said to be haunted by the ghost of a highwayman known as 'Blackstockings'.

The figure has been seen both on horseback and on foot, but always dressed completely in black in the garb of the 18th century. According to Joe Robinson's Oxfordshire Ghosts, in life, the highwayman lived in the hamlet of Worsham, a few miles to the East, and has been witnessed by late-night car travelers in recent memory.

The most famous highwaymen in this area were probably Tom, Dick and Harry Dunsdon who terrorised the Burford area during the 18th century. Could 'Blackstockings' in fact be one of the notorious Dunsdon brothers?

Find out more

  1. 'Oxfordshire Ghosts' by Joe Robinson (2000, Wharncliffe Books, ISBN: 9781871647762)

B4047, between Witney and Burford.

Region: West Oxfordshire

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