Craignant Tower (again)

In a previous post, I reviewed the Craignant Tower: a 19th-century ruin marking the line of Offa’s Dyke. Andy Heaton of Trefonen has kindly shared with me an old (undated) photograph of this tower in its original form: evoking beside the road a faux-medievalism and bespoke ruination.  

Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory after 1 Year

This blog post is to update everyone about what we’ve been doing over the last year. In under 13 months there has been a lot of activity by individual convenors and members, but also under the auspices of the Collaboratory itself. The Website First, we set up this website to outline what the Collaboratory is…

Offa’s Dyke: Conservation Conversations

Paul Belford writes on his blog: The conservation of Offa’s Dyke has been the focus of two events in recent weeks. Both were hosted by the Offa’s Dyke Association (ODA) and took place at the delightful Offa’s Dyke Centre in Knighton. The first event, on 23 March, was the third meeting of the Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory; the second, on 12…

Offa’s Dyke Heritage

The Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory are co-hosting a day workshop with the Offa’s Dyke Centre. We are very grateful to the Centre for supporting this and for a range of speakers who have already agreed to speak on aspects of the heritage of Offa’s Dyke and other linear earthworks. Confirmed speakers include: Offa’s Dyke by Numbers…

Dykes through Time – Rethinking Early Medieval Linear Earthworks

At the 39th Theoretical Archaeology Group conference – 18th-20th December 2017 – I organised the second meeting of the Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory – a research network set up to foster new research on the early medieval linear earthworks of western Britain. Building on from a first and very successful workshop at Shrewsbury in April 2017, this…

TRPG Event – Trefonen

Andy Heaton of the TRPG sent in this report: The Trefonen Rural Protection Group (TRPG) hosted it’s “Autumn Speaker Evening 2017” which focussed this year on the Offa’s Dyke monument and long distance footpath that both pass through the heart of our village. In a packed village hall with over 120 of our community in…

Frontiers Past and Present – Journal of the Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory

I’m now working on a new open-access journal as a key endeavour for the Collaboratory. Frontiers Past and Present – Journal of the Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory The idea is to create a journal focusing on the history and archaeology of linear earthworks and other boundaries and frontier works. The journal will also explore the heritage…

Maen Achwyfan and its Landscape

Of direct relevance to the contested frontier landscape of the pre-Norman era is the fascinating cross at Maen Achwyfan, Flintshire. It is close to the Whitford dykes and close to where Offa’s Dyke has been considered by antiquarians as running. Indeed, I just love Maen Achwyfan: a 10th/11th-century cross in Flintshire. It is actually really…

New Publication: Placing the Pillar of Eliseg

At the inaugural Collaboratory workshop in Shrewsbury in April 2017, I presented the key findings of work conducted by Dr Patricia Murrieta-Flores and myself stemming from the Past in its Place ERC-funded project. I’ve discussed various elements of this paper before on on my blog but the final publication is now out in the journal…

New heritage signs at Chirk Castle put Offa’s Dyke back on the map

A year ago I wrote a critical post about ‘Dyke Denial at Chirk Castle‘. Despite being a fan of this wonderful National Trust property, I was disappointed by the low priority given to informing and educating visitors about Offa’s Dyke which runs through the grounds. Visitors enter by car, coach bicycle or on foot, crossing…

Dykes Through Time

Here are details of the 2nd Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory event: a conference session at the 39th Theoretical Archaeology Group conference to be held on the afternoon of Tuesday 19th December at Cardiff University. The session is called: Dykes through Time: Rethinking Early Medieval Linear Earthworks To register for the conference, please follow this link: Cardiff…

Hawthorn Hill

Take a short diversion off the Offa’s Dyke path to the south of Knighton, one can encounter the beauty of Hawthorn Hill. In a previous post I’ve discussed the adjusted-segmented arrangement of the dyke as it navigates the western edge of this hill. Many of those exploring the hill might stick to the dyke and…

New members join the ODC

Following our inaugural workshop at Shrewsbury in April 2017, a number of the attendees contacted the ODC to sign up as members. In addition, we’ve just had our first set of new members who were not at the Shrewsbury workshop. Liam Delaney – HER officer for Herefordshire County Council Professor Andrew Fleming, University of Wales…

Craignant Tower – commemorating Offa’s Dyke

In a previous post, I noted the recent commemoration of the line of Offa’s Dyke as it crosses the Clywedog west of Nant Mill. At that point, a tree has been carved with a sculpture commemorating Offa and ‘his’ dyke. Here I wish to report on another ‘modern’ feature marking Offa’s Dyke. It is probably…

Pen-Y-Gardden hillfort and Offa’s Dyke

Re-posted from Howard’s Archaeodeath blog. Recently, I went on a walk to check out Pen-Y-Gardden (Y Garden) hillfort to the west of Ruabon. The hillfort is presumed to be Iron Age. It is itself is on private land but the public right of way follows a lane around its western and north-western sides. The interior is…

Offa’s Dyke from Carreg-y-big to Craignant

Offa’s Dyke is alive and well, but often found snoring deeply in slumber beneath the surface of modern culture and politics.  To use another mildly implausible analogy, the early medieval linear earthwork, regarded as built by the orders of the Mercian king Offa, is like an iceberg, or perhaps a dormant volcano. It is seemingly…