The Offa’s Dyke Ditch at Bronygarth and Nant Eris

Re-posted and adapted from Howard’s Archaeodeath blog.

Complementing my recent blog-post about the CPAT dig at Chirk Castle, I wanted to explore other nearby sections of Offa’s Dyke a fresh. I’d previously discussed the well-preserved ditch and bank of Offa’s Dyke at Bronygarth as part of a broader discussion of the design and landscape context of the monument between Craignant and Chirk: see this link.

Whereas at Chirk Park, the ditch has long been filled in, the slope down from Chirk Castle to the Ceiriog does preserve a more substantial ditch, although heavily denuded and difficult to photograph.

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Looking N on the slope ascending to Chirk Castle

In contrast, looking south from Chirk, one of the best-preserved sections of Offa’s Dyke anywhere is on the south-side of the Ceiriog valley as it rises from Bronygarth towards the Nant Eris.

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Looking south across the Ceiriog valley, – Offa’s Dyke is beneath the line of trees in the foreground, and rises out of the valley beneath the trees on the line either side of the white house.

At various points on this route, the ditch is clearer, and as one gets higher up, at certain points one can witness the width and depth of the V-shaped ditch.

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Looking north, downhill, above Bronygarth
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Looking south, uphill, above Bronygarth
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One of the most impressive earthwork-surviving sections of Offa’s Dyke’s ditch anywhere.

Indeed, the opening image of this blog, taken looking S along the line of the dyke, reveals clearly the scale of the ditch, albeit after more than a millennium of erosion. Add to this another 1-1.5m of depth and you get a sense of how the CPAT dig’s dyke may have once appeared soon after creation.

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A view from within the ditch, looking north above Bronygarth
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