Roman Road crossing point with Offa’s Dyke

On 22nd February a small group of us accessed the dyke in the woods on the edge of the Wye Valley in Tutshill

Tutshill Offa’s Dyke probable line

Through the woods the form of Offa’s Dyke was clear to see, well worked by an army of badgers.

The Dyke Form in Chapel House Wood being worked by badgers

We followed the earthwork along through the mixed woodland as it followed the scarp edge of the gorge. In winter the view to the western side of the Wye was quite clear. How much woodland might have existed then? Were many trees cleared in the building of the Dyke?

View of the line of the Dyke showing the western scarp edge falling steeply down to The Wye

Eventually, after passing by what looked like the ruin of an old farmstead, Castleford Farm? We can find no reference to it, just the building marked on a Victorian map

Comparison maps showing The Roman Road line and the buildings of the farmstead.

100m south west of the ruin there was evidence to show that the Dyke changed direction here, turning south south east to follow the field boundary towards the road. As the field had been farmed for centuries since the days of King Offa, all that remains is a vague broad bank of less than 1 meter high.

Showing the probable corner of the Dyke, reinforced with a higher rock content

Further reading

Offa’s Dyke: Landscape & Hegemony in Eighth-Century Britain  :by Ian Bapty, Keith Ray

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