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Introducing Offa's Dyke and the Offa's Dyke Initiative

Probably most people living in the border regions of England and Wales (the Welsh Marches) have heard of Offa's Dyke. Many places, businesses, housing estates and street signs include the name Offa; and perhaps the mysterious Dyke itself - or some remnant of it - runs across a field, past the local school, or is by the road on the way to work. And many Marches residents, along with walkers from all over Britain and beyond, will have enjoyed a stroll, or a longer hike, along the popular Offa's Dyke Path.

Aerial view of Offa's Dyke Left: Aerial view of Offa's Dyke near Montgomery, Powys. The line of the Dyke can clearly be seen running from the bottom to the top of the photograph © CPAT 81-C-149

What ramblers, tourists and Marches people alike may not realise is that the bit of Offa's Dyke they know as a footpath or local landmark in fact originates as part of an extraordinary and unique 129 kilometre long ancient monument dating from the late 8th century AD.

English Heritage and Cadw agreed joint funding for the 'Offa's Dyke Initiative', and in August 1999 Ian Bapty was appointed Offa's Dyke Archaeological Management Officer by Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust. The project was designed to investigate, promote and conserve this extraordinary survival from our distant past, and in the process to rediscover a part of British heritage which is every bit as important as better known archaeological sites like Stonehenge or Hadrian's Wall. Ian only left when funding came to an end in 2006.

So what exactly is Offa's Dyke? To find out more about a remarkable piece of Britain's past and the new English Heritage and Cadw funded Offa's Dyke Initiative, read on!

Offa's Dyke at Springhill Right: The impressive bank and ditch of Offa's Dyke at Springhill, near Clun, Shropshire

What is Offa's Dyke?

The Offa's Dyke Initiative

Visiting Offa's Dyke

Offa's Dyke Conservation Statement

Offa's Dyke: History and Guide - a review

Offa's Dyke Press Pack

For further information and advice please contact Chris Martin at this address.

The Offa's Dyke Initiative was supported by Cadw and English Heritage and managed by Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust.

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