Offa's Dyke


Offa's Dyke
Earthwork in western England.

It stretches 169 mi (270 km) from the River Severn near Chepstow to the seaward end of the River Dee's estuary. It was built by Offa of Mercia to fortify the boundary between his kingdom and the lands of the Welsh; for centuries it marked the England-Wales boundary. It consisted of a plain bank (in places some 60 ft [18 m] high) and a ditch (12 ft [3.7 m] deep). Many sections remain, and a walking path now runs its length.

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▪ English history
      great English earthwork extending linearly, with some gaps, from the River Severn near Chepstow to the seaward end of the Dee estuary, passing for 169 miles (270 kilometres) through the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Radnorshire, Montgomeryshire, Shropshire, Denbighshire, and Flintshire. It was built at the orders of Offa, the great Mercian king of the second half of the 8th century, who sought to define the boundary between his kingdom and the lands of the Welsh, many of whom he had dispossessed. For centuries the dyke marked the boundary between England and Wales, the place names to the east being English and those to the west largely Welsh. However, only in a few places does it follow the English–Welsh boundary as it is now fixed.

      The dyke was not so much a fortification as a demarcation line, consisting as it did of a plain bank (sometimes 60 feet [18 metres] high) and a ditch (12 ft deep) facing Wales. Many sections are still visible, and a modern long-distance path for touring walkers runs its length, through beautiful country.

      An earlier, shorter earthwork to the east, Wat's Dyke, runs parallel to Offa's Dyke—extending from Basingwerk on the Dee estuary to the Morda Brook, south of Oswestry.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Offa's Dyke — Offa’s Dyke bei Llanfair Den Offa s Dyke, deutsch selten auch Offa Wall, schuf sich König Offa von Mercien als eindrucksvolles Denkmal seiner Macht an der westlichen Grenzlinie seines Herrschaftsgebiets. Auf einer Länge von 270 km ließ er etwa um …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Offa's Dyke — La digue d Offa, ou Clawdd Offa en gallois est un ensemble de constructions formant la frontière traditionnelle entre l Angleterre et le pays de Galles, composé principalement d un grand mur de terre dont la contribution est largement attribuée… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Offa's Dyke — Offa’s Dyke [Offas Dyke] a large bank of earth along the border between England and Wales. It was built in the 8th century by Offa, a king of ↑Mercia, as a protection against the ↑Britons who lived to the west of it. Later, it became the border… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Offa's Dyke —   [ ɔfəs daɪk], der durch König Offa (757 796) von Mercia zum Schutz des angelsächsischen Gebiets gegen das britische Wales ab 784 errichtete Erdwall, der sich als Grenzbefestigung von der Dee Mündung im Norden bis zum Mündungstrichter des Severn …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Offa's Dyke — (spr. daik), ein angeblich von König Ossa im 8. Jahrh. errichteter, aber wohl aus der Römerzeit stammender Grenzwall zwischen Mercia und Wales, erstreckte sich von der Mündung des Dee bis zu der des Severn, bestand aus Wall und Graben und ist… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Offa's Dyke — Coordinates: 52°20′38″N 3°02′56″W / 52.344°N 3.049°W / 52.344; 3.049 …   Wikipedia

  • Offa’s Dyke — Lage von Offa’s Dyke (rote Linie) und Wat’s Dyke (braune Linie) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Offa’s Dyke — Sp Òfos pýlimas Ap Offa’s Dyke angliškai L ist. paminklas D. Britanijoje (Velse) …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Offa's Dyke — Of|fa s Dyke a long wall of earth, originally over 100 miles long, put up to mark the border between Wales and the Anglo Saxon kingdom of Mercia, by King Offa of Mercia in the 8th century. Parts of it can still be seen …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Offa’s Dyke — a large bank of earth along the border between England and Wales. It was built in the 8th century by Offa, a king of Mercia, as a protection against the Britons who lived to the west of it. Later, it became the border between the two countries.… …   Universalium


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