The material culture of the Offa’s Dyke Path has been a subject of previous blogs:
- Wat’s Dyke at Hope
- Nant Mill
- Chirk signs
- Chirk signs again
- Panpunton to Cwmsanahan
- Herrock Hill
- Wye Valley
- Wye Valley again
The signs, the stiles and the gates: these are an important ‘archaeological resource’. They record the story of our recent past: the emergence, maintenance and evolution of a national trail. Looking at their logos, texts, materials and positions, we learn about strategies of marking and guiding along a national trail. We learn about the significance for leisure activity, a conservation movement, and engagements with a particular landscape through its nature and its heritage experienced by walking.
Furthermore, some of these elements are the contemporary archaeology of death and memory: my favourite topic! Here I’m talking about votive deposits (feathers) and memorial benches, markers, rocks, and cairns, are all part of the archaeology of the recent past: commemorating people, linear earthworks and their supposed historical significance, and the path itself.
In the summer, I walked from Discoed to Rushock Hill, and I got to see some more examples. In addition to feathers near Rushock and Herrock. Here they are: