I’ve previously written a series of posts about the present-day material culture of the Offa’s Dyke Path. Akin to ‘street furniture’ in villages, towns and cities, perhaps we need to refer collectively to the gates, stiles, signposts and footpath improvements of the Offa’s Dyke Path as ‘dyke furniture’.
If so, then today in Knighton, whilst visiting the Offa’s Dyke Centre, I came across a striking picnic bench on the Offa’s Dyke Path close to the border between Shropshire and Powys and close to the River Teme.
At first, I thought it was simply carved to evoke its arboreal origins, but then I realised that carved onto the top surfaces is the line of the Offa’s Dyke Path from Chepstow to Prestatyn.
This is not simply a place to picnic and repose, it is part of the celebration of the National Trail. Furthermore, it is a picnic bench situated at the modern border as well as the line of the historic frontier between Mercia and Powys.
As they say, Offa bench is better than none!