Author Topic: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!  (Read 1121 times)

barewirewalker

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The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« on: 11:44:35, 13/01/18 »
Looking at the OS map 1:25,000 it is easy to find the southern beginning as the Offa's Dyke trail and the symbols of archaeological remains coincide and about 6 or 7 further indicators reinforce the veracity of the route until the trail crosses the River Wye at Monmouth and then veers west with a hint of north.
Now this is an area out of my locality, I have enjoyed a few walks in this area, but I do not it as well as my own patch, where I am not only familiar with the terrain but also those people who make up the local society and some of their history.
Back to the map; I cannot find any more signs on OS that justifies the route going to and over the Black Mountain (meant collectively) to regain a true connection with the archaeology till after Kington.


I do not dispute that this is a fine part of the route as a walk, but not being familiar with this area I am asking anyone, who has walked the route, if there is any explanation along the way or in the literature they have read, when taking an interest in this popular trail.
« Last Edit: 13:05:24, 13/01/18 by barewirewalker »
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phil1960

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #1 on: 12:25:48, 13/01/18 »
I think Sussamb has walked Offa’s Dyke, he may be able to shed further light on it for you.
Touching from a distance, further all the time.

sussamb

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #2 on: 14:40:18, 13/01/18 »
Funnily enough the lack of information is one of the things I mentioned in my TR http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=31217.0 now pointless thanks to PhotoBucket and their new rules.
Where there's a will ...

gunwharfman

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #3 on: 14:55:22, 13/01/18 »
I never knew anything of this when I did it, the mountains were there, the signpost said go this way, so I did.

Doddy

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #4 on: 19:06:20, 13/01/18 »

I have done it and as posted before I just followed the signs. A
fter finishing I [/color][/font][/size]
didn't want to see another hill fort for a while.
Like there is not much wall at Hadrians there is not much dyke at Offas. Good walk though.

Doddy

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #5 on: 19:09:17, 13/01/18 »
I have done it and as posted earlier I followed the signs. After finishing I didn't want to see another hill fort for a while. Like there is not much wall on Hadrians there is not much dyke on Offas.

johhnyp

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #6 on: 20:31:37, 13/01/18 »
Not much Dyke on Offa's - and most of it you cant walk on or beside

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #7 on: 20:49:45, 13/01/18 »
Ive walked a fair bit of the path, not in one go, but over a seven year period, and the path has never really been in doubt, even though it goes through some remote areas, especially in the Shropshire hills.
When living in Cardiff, i joined several organised walks along the path, from Chepstow as far as Monmouth.

I also visited the Kington and Prestigne areas, numerous times, visiting Llanfair Hill near Clun, about four times, as this has the best sections of the Dyke.


The way marking for this very popular LDW, is excellent, as long as one  has the relevant mapping for your location.

A few years ago, i started from the Prestatyn end, but work commitments put pay to any further adventures.

The numerous guides for the entire walk, give a clear explanation of the route taken, and ive never lost my direction, even when in the remote hills above Clun.

Carry the essential mapping, and follow the well signed direction signs along the route, and the Offas Dyke Path is a great adventure.

I read recently, that significant deliberate damage has been caused to the Dyke, in the Llanfair Hill area, enough damage, to cause real concern.

johhnyp

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #8 on: 22:55:48, 13/01/18 »
It is a great walk despite not following the Dyke meticulously all the way. Did it in 2013. As I recall the Llanfair Hill section is largely fenced off and the walk follows a track some 100 metres away and parallel. Think it was rabbit damage as much as anything at the time. Oddly I don't recall the Dyke itself being uppermost in my thoughts as I walked. I just thought it was a great walk O0

barewirewalker

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #9 on: 23:39:32, 13/01/18 »
Thanks all for your interest, as I suspected not a lot of history was posted along the way;
I read through this http://www.historyextra.com/article/feature/brief-history-offas-dyke


and this;
Quote
Another remarkable thing about Offa’s Dyke is the way in which so much of it has survived: a long-distance trail, the Offa’s Dyke Path, follows much of its course, especially in the historic counties of Gloucestershire, Radnorshire, Shropshire and Montgomeryshire.


struck me as interesting.
As far I can see the next archaeological part of Offa's Dyke mapped by OS is in Herefordshire, A county not mentioned in the above extract and nearly 11 miles east of the Offa's Dyke Trail. It is on the south slope of Garnon's Hill, 10 miles west of Hereford. Also a closer inspection in Google earth rather suggest that the original earthworks connected with the north bank of the River Wye.


Is this relevant to the History of the Dyke, reading the reasoning in the online potted history, the fact that the restart of the northern section start adjacent to a ford is curious?


Sussamb has my sympathies in the loss of his images in the link he posted, courtesy of the iniquitous photobucket, had mine been available I also would have images, which tell us a little more of the social history of Garnons Hill.


Now I am not suggesting that the route of the Offa's Dyke walk should be changed. Even if the ridge alongside the black mountain is not part of the original dyke, perhaps the River Wye was part of the Dyke, though not a dyke.


Perhaps those that chose the route should be honest with those following the route.



BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #10 on: 15:12:38, 14/01/18 »
Not much Dyke on Offa's - and most of it you cant walk on or beside


Though there is quite a bit when you can see it.


These are the parts that are a way off the course of the walk, mapped by the OS, plus my guess as to where if started alongside the River Wye.


SO 40821 42778 Offa's Dyke 6. N. Bank River Wye,
SO 40513 43494 Offa's Dyke-Garnons hill S.
SO 39945 44475 Offa's Dyke-Garnons hill N
SO 39495 45541 Offa's Dyke-Mansell Gamage S
SO 39467 46393 Offa's Dyke-Mansell Gamage N
SO 39431 47183 Offa's Dyke-Upperton
SO 33549 54930 Offa's Dyke-Holme Marsh
SO 32829 55885 Offa's Dyke-Lyonshall
SO 32481 58097 Offa's Dyke-Titley Junction
SO 32387 58696 Offa's Dyke -Flintsham 
Going from south to North, anyone interested in see where these locations are, open Street Map, and copy and paste the map reference into the search box and click go. Then click on the next bar up to see the location in OS 1:25k.
I found the summary in of the History of Offa's dyke interesting;
Quote
By laying down the origins of conscripted armies; economic power through trade and a regulated currency; a court culture in which queens as well as kings held sway; and the first formal ‘diplomatic missions’ (such as the one in 789 that failed to successfully negotiate an alliance between the dominant power of Europe – Francia – and Mercia), Offa’s kingdom provided a first glimpse of the role a newly-assertive Britain could play in a wider international setting. And it involved the attempt to forge a ‘new relationship’ with Europe that is arguably just as elusive today as it was all those centuries ago.
BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #11 on: 14:55:58, 22/01/18 »
Reading the online history of Offa's Dyke does suggest that the reason for digging it was more as a civil marker than as a military construction. This bring to my mind an interesting encounter a few years ago in mid Wales. We were on the top edge of a valley and to get to the lip and a better view we needed to bend the rules of access a trifle. Mrs BWW was willing, in fact eager, for the proposed excursion and a few hundred further on we breasted the concave slope and were rewarded with a fine over view of a valley we were quite familiar with.
Later, walk concluded, we were in the bar of a local hotel and there was a group of local farmers, gathering for a Friday night out. At the bar I was asked by one where I had been walking and when I told him he said I must have on his land, so I offered him my apology for a trespass that took us to the corner of a wood overlooking the valley.
The farmer asked me if I had noticed a ridge across the middle of the field, which I had it was at least 2 foot high and looked like the base of a hedge that died out, but there was no sign of any dead hedge routes. He told me it was the Parish boundary, very proud of it he was, as such parish boundaries have not survived in many places and is a fairly unique sight.
So it could have been seeing a mini Offa's Dyke, whereas the grander scale of those remnants we see today are the western boundary of the Kingdom of Mercia.
South of Kington, the dyke leads to the north bank of the Wye, which seems to have been the boundary of Mercia.
On Garnon's Hill, a point from which I might guess, gives a good view of the course of the Wye and the country it acts as a boundary of. Possibly an important view for those trying to understand it's history.


It is noticeable that the author of the landowners policy on access, whose family own Garnon's, does not mention any hint of social responsibility, landowners might need to feel about their position in the occupation of our countryside.


The very warm response I got from that Welsh farmer, his obvious pleasure of my interest in the position of his land and its unique landmark was also made interesting by his parting remark. "What would happen if you went trespassing in England." It made a rather distasteful face, but the following day I did precisely that. I walked in full view across the frontage of the local squirarchy, it was not long before I heard the sound of a quad bike. The gamekeeper had been sent to get me off the premises.


All I was doing was trying to do was join up two ends of a route that once crossed that estate, which had connections with an estate agent/Councillor chairman, who has left a trail of lostways across the county.
« Last Edit: 14:59:44, 22/01/18 by barewirewalker »
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barewirewalker

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #12 on: 11:44:23, 27/01/18 »
A look at the OS 1:25k map shows Offa's Dyke well in Herefordshire, but the 1885 mapping and surveys show a very strong indication that linked it to the River Wye at a point where the contour lines on the map show a 40m drop in the land level and a significant loop in the river, changing the course of the Wye.


Upstream at Byford, there is on the 1880 map reference to a ferry and a ford is shown diagonally across the river bank with ways to the points where the ford is recorded.


I believe when history and geology have common purpose, this comes within the scope of Geography. If a professional body today is so intent on influencing public policy that it publishes a national document for the guidance of it's members, such as CLA has done, it should base it's content and judgments on a little more than collective anecdote and innuendo of a biased membership. A little learning would help.


Now this anomaly is not a remote example it is a mile from the family home of the author in chief and publisher of the CLA's policy on Access. A right of way in the form of a bridleway does join Byford to close onto the point, where these remains Offa's Dyke seems to end it's northern section.


If anyone is interested in this, a closer view can be found on Google Earth, it is quite revealing but I have not worked out how to give direct links to this app. The location is easy to find once the shape of the river is familiarized from the map. I zoomed into the A438 and quite easily found the fingerpost for the bridleway where it exits onto the road. No self respecting horse person would even dream of being in that position and it certainly looks as if it is underused if used at all, but the way across the fields look to have been left as a viable route, so a walker could walk this route to the road hedge and then follow the field margin around to the river bank and see where Offa's Dyke (north
section) terminated.


But you can go no further, also there is a Civil Parish Boundary.......Coincidence!


Is this one step to far in intellectual attainment, probably because there are not just 2 CP's involved here but 4. The CLA are in denial of the complications involved in the creation of the Definitive Map, they claim that lostways are irrelevant to the network yet when the meeting of historical ways are matched to the possible improvement of the access network for the future there is one huge great clue sitting just  600yds down stream.


Yet it escaped the notice of a man clever enough to earn a CBE.
« Last Edit: 11:49:13, 27/01/18 by barewirewalker »
BWW
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barewirewalker

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Re: The Real Offa's Dyke.......Who Cares!!
« Reply #13 on: 12:28:14, 04/02/18 »
Just finished reading a novel about Hereward, he is described in the book as a Mercian and it is, I believe, based on a substantial amount of research into a time in our history, often cloaked in mystery. Though it is centered on the fens an understanding of the geography of our country at that time has helped me to visualize some of the plot. I am hoping to find the sequel to this story.


If I had accepted the popular notion of Offa's Dyke, I might have not understood how different out countryside was a 1000 years ago. This come from being able to stand on hills and other viewpoints and see the features as the are how the could have been. Walk alongside rivers and realise that they were serious barriers, the underlying geology was important in providing a hard bottom in certain locations to provide a ford.


It is just such a feature, which is south of Garnon's Hill in Herefordshire, where O's D meets the river Wye.
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.