Offa points west

Recently I blogged about Offa’s Dyke in the beautiful wooded Clywedog valley at Plas Power Woods. I mentioned the heritage dimensions with an Offa trail.

The dyke itself is not signposted but is obvious to those who know it. What is striking is that I was so engrossed in looking at the earthwork itself, in my previous visit I failed to notice the striking carved sculptures at the dyke itself. On returning to Nant Mill I asked ‘where is the wooden sculpture of King Offa I saw in the photos’ and the lady there politely conceded it was ‘difficult to spot’ rather than saying what she probably thought which was ‘are you partially sighted you imbecile?’. She explained it was right by Offa’s Dyke but easy to miss…

I recently went back to the Clywedog to find the sculpture. And there it was, right by the dyke. Of course it wasn’t difficult to spot. Offa points westwards into Wales while his dyke winds down the trunk with Powys and Mercia marked as the kingdoms it demarcates. Workmen build the dyke behind him.

I hadn’t seen the wood for the dyke!

This is striking commemorative art creating a landmark and focus for visitors, highlighting them to the presence of this most famous of early medieval linear earthworks.

Approaching Offa’s Dyke form the west. The bank is visible in the shadow of the trees, and there straight ahead of me is the sculpture I had missed! Not exactly hidden is it!
The Offa tree and his axe
Another view of the Offa tree, showing the dyke clearly
The axe tree – felled and yet felling
A dragon post…. or is it a crocodile? Offa’s dyke is serpentine as I argued in my recent conference paper. Here is the proof.
View of Offa’s Dyke crossing the Clywedog
Offa’s D yke descending to the Clywedog