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Welsh and English nationalists unite to reinstate Offa’s Dyke

01 Apr 2024 4 minute read
The extent of Mercia during the Mercian Supremacy, showing the line of Offa’s Dyke (red). Image: Rushton2010 based on Hel-hama – Own work. CC BY-SA 3.0

Stephen Price

Two Welsh and English nationalist groups have united today to kick off a project that aims to reinstate and rebuild Offa’s Dyke.

The two teams (based in Denbighshire and the Forest of Dean) have already begun digging in earnest this morning and hope to meet at the mid-point near Knighton with a Channel Tunnel style handshake at a date to be confirmed.

Unruly Cymry

Offa’s Dyke is a large linear earthwork that roughly follows the border between England and Wales.

To the disappointment of historians and cosplayers alike, the structure is sadly not of Roman origin and has therefore lacked investment and attention over the years.

Its remaining ditches are said to only be present to this day thanks to the footfall of sponsored walkers who take up the challenge of walking from one end to the other in their dozens each year.

Offa’s Dyke is named after Offa, the Anglo-Saxon king of Mercia from AD 757 until 796, who is traditionally believed to have ordered its construction.

Offa seized power during a time of great unrest caused by friction between Wales and England in the border region. Offa was determined to quell the unruly Cymry and impose his authority, and this he did by building one of the most remarkable structures in Britain.

Offa’s Dyke. Image: Chris Heaton CC BY-SA 2.0

Offa’s Dyke covers 82 miles (132 km) of the total distance of 149 miles (240 km) between Prestatyn in the north to Sedbury in the south – the intervening gaps being filled by natural features such as slopes and rivers.

It consists of an earth bank, which in places still stands to a height of 12 feet (3.5 metres), fronted by a deep quarry-ditch with a total width of up to 60 feet (18 metres).

Soft border (for now)

The two teams hope to deepen the existing ditches and raise the height of the earth walls.

Focus groups have also been hard at work discussing possible checkpoints, and all agree that a hard border would be “ideal but unworkable at present”.

Ebrill ap Cellweiriwr, Denbighshire Team Lead told Nation.Cymru: “This has been a dream of our group for so long now but after our Senedd petition was (typically) rejected, we thought that direct action was the only approach.

“The Cardiff metropolitan elite have ignored us for too long now so we’ve been left with no choice.

“At present, we’re a small team of six, but my cousin works in Toolstation Rhyl and he’s happy to let us use his discount on the manager’s days off, so equipment needn’t be a barrier to anyone doing what they can for Wales.

“My back is in pieces already, and it’s rained non stop, but I’m determined not to give in until the job is done.

“Eventually, we are hoping to get some heavy machinery involved so keep your eyes peeled for a crowdfunder.”

Offa’s Dyke signage. Image: Damien Tournay

The Monmouthshire/Forest of Dean contingent is headed up by Derek Chubb.

We caught up with Derek outside ‘A-Burger-Vanny’ – a Monmouthshire-based ‘dirty burger’ van – where daily strategic meetings are set to be held during stage one of the dig.

He told us: “Not gonna lie, and I’m not the only one saying it – a lot of this started with the 20mph blanket speed limit rollout.

“It is what it is”

“At the end of the day, I don’t want to see this come to England. What was wrong with 30mph?

“Look – I get it – it is what it is. Near schools? If we must. But literally an entire country? This is supposed to be a democracy and I for one will not be holidaying in Wales again.

“If Wales wants independence, then why shouldn’t England turn around and demand it too?

“I hope this is the beginning of a new relationship between England and Wales – maybe something close to equals. But I’ll tell you something right now – it will ALWAYS be the Brecon Beacons to me.”

Nation.Cymru has contacted Time Team, the overarching body responsible for maintaining Offa’s Dyke, but representatives were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.


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Frank
Frank
9 days ago

Why would anyone want to preserve what is a reminder of oppression, hardship and an attempt to starve the Cymry? A more valid project would be to claim back the whole of Lloegr which was once the whole of Cymru but was stolen from us by an English army which usually did their conquering by outnumbering their enemies by 20-1. Why reinstate a division of what is rightfully Britannia. It would be like digging a ditch across your garden and your neighbour claiming what is rightfully yours!!

Last edited 9 days ago by Frank
Ffrwd
Ffrwd
9 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Check the date Frank…

Frank
Frank
9 days ago
Reply to  Ffrwd

Yes, I did suspect that but I would not put it past the thinking of some people so I wrote a reminder of what that dyke represents.

Alan Jones
Alan Jones
9 days ago
Reply to  Ffrwd

Heh heh, I nearly went for it, “digging in earnest this morning” and. “Ebrill ap Cellweiriwr”. soon jolted me out of my half asleep state. Nice try nation.Cymru, lovely way to start the day though😁😃

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
9 days ago

jôc diwrnod ffwl Ebrill yw hon.

Bryn
Bryn
9 days ago

Ebrill ap Cellweiriwr!!!
Penigamp!!
Da iawn dros ben!!

Jonathan Dean
Jonathan Dean
9 days ago

Fabulous! Maybe at the same time National Grid can bury the north-south grid connection in the ditch rather than use 200 km of pylons from Bangor to Swansea. And despite the date, this isn’t a joke

Gary Owen
Gary Owen
9 days ago

Gwaith gwych. Wnaechoch ffwl ohona i nes i’r son am rhywun yn Toolstation Rhyl rhannu’u disgownt!

Rob
Rob
9 days ago

A-Burger-Vanny’ is quite clever, fair play.

Jeff
Jeff
8 days ago

I can recommend he goes to his manager and asks for a tin of stripped paint to use instead of that red line. it looks better on the map when you zoom in from space.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
8 days ago

Had me mulling it over for nearly a minute before the light bulb went on and I realised I’d been taken for an (April) fool. Da iawn, Nation.Cymru.

Riki
Riki
8 days ago

Englands foundation actually helps with making people understand Wales’ foundation, as the boundaries of both nations were accepted between themselves at virtually the same time, The Kings and Queens of Wales however saw Wales’ foundation starting with Magnus Maximus (Macsen Wledig) in 383. Even Elizabeth the First of England agreed on this point. Wales is the oldest of the nations on the island of Britain and why The Germanic royals of England had to Relegate it as a Principality over a Kingdom, it was all designed to de-legitimise the Britons in Britain. The Britons (and the later term for them,… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by Riki
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
8 days ago

Surely an April fool’s prank? This is reminiscent of that Edward the 1st iron ring proposed a few years back. Only difference is. Where that was real this article is a joke. If not, we are the joke. Still think it’s the latter. #AprilFool 🃏 🤡

Santa Claus
Santa Claus
7 days ago

WTF! You’ll be telling me next Sion Corn doesn’t exist.

Crwtyddol
Crwtyddol
5 days ago

One of the best Fwl Ebrill jokes I’ve come across. Believable, workable and possible . I only clicked when I was trying to work out whether Ebrill was male or female. So you brought trans- genderism in to it as well. I bow my head in awe!!! Llongyfarchidau! ,

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