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Britain's longest ancient monument may be 300 years old older than thought - and built by generations before the king who gave it his name.

Offa's Dyke, which runs 177 miles along the England-Wales border, was named after the 8th century Anglo-Saxon king of Mercia.

But historians have discovered the building of the dyke could possibly have begun between 430 and 650 AD - up to 300 years before Offa ruled the land.

Offa's Dyke may date back to 300 years before Offa came to the throne and was credited with building the ancient barrier between England and Wales


Historians discovered dyke could have been built between 430 and 650 AD

Archaeologists will find charcoal deposits that could show when it was made

The dyke could have been constructed by an earlier king many years before Offa

By Sophie Law For Mailonline
23 September 2018

Britain's longest ancient monument may be 300 years old older than thought - and built by generations before the king who gave it his name.

Offa's Dyke, which runs 177 miles along the England-Wales border, was named after the 8th century Anglo-Saxon king of Mercia.

But historians have discovered the building of the dyke could possibly have begun between 430 and 650 AD - up to 300 years before Offa ruled the land.


Britain's longest ancient monument may be 300 years old older than thought and built by a different king than Offa

Now archaeological digging at 13th Century Chirk Castle in North Wales are hoping to find more evidence that the dyke is much older than at first thought.

Offa's Dyke runs from Chepstow in South Wales to Prestatyn on the North Wales coast and was a barrier between the kingdom of Mercia and the wild Welsh tribes.

But opinion is divided about the actual age of the dyke, part of which runs through the castle's grounds.

An examination of part of the dyke by experts suggested work may have started much earlier than the widely-accepted date of construction.


Offa, King of Mercia, was one of the leading figures of Saxon history and obtained the throne of Mercia in 757



Opinion is divided about the actual age of the dyke, part of which runs through the castle's grounds


Archaeologists hope that by finding charcoal deposits to radio carbon-date they will show that the dyke may have been started by an earlier king


Now members of the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust are leading a survey at Chirk Castle which they hope will help provide more answers.

They hope that by finding charcoal deposits to radio carbon-date they will show that the dyke may have been started by an earlier king.

Senior archaeologist Ian Grant said: 'It's been a long-held belief that this was constructed by King Offa.


Offa's Dyke runs from Chepstow in South Wales to Prestatyn on the North Wales coast


Archaeological digging at 13th Century Chirk Castle in North Wales are hoping to find more evidence that the dyke is much older than at first thought



'But academics and archaeologists have also thought that perhaps this earthwork was started by somebody else way before him and continued after Offa.

'So it was a kind of work in progress that's been built over two or three hundred years.

'King Offa is in the middle of the reign and he's basically got a better public relations team who've put his name to it.

'Ultimately, that's what we're trying to find out - was it constructed before his reign? And if we can get that material to date it, we can prove it.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...me-throne.html