Having previously presented my views on Wat’s Dyke at Erddig, Wrexham, I recently presented an update regarding how the dyke appears to the north of the house and regarding the recent CPAT dig south of Erddig Hall.

I want to present a brief additional comment here. For I realise that I haven’t previously posted photographs of where the Anglo-Norman (late 11th/early 12th-century) motte-and-bailey castle’s outside bank-and-ditch truncates the line of the 9th-century Wat’s Dyke. Here is a rare point where the later monument cutting through it allows the profile of Wat’s Dyke to be seen in profile (see top photo). By contrast, as with almost everywhere else, trying to photograph Wat’s Dyke in woodland makes it very difficult to gain a sense of its profile. I previously had pointed out how the line of a modern fence just north of Erddig Hall helps to emphasise the bank and ditch. Still, I feel this additional photograph really brings out the denuded but still-surviving remains of this 38-mile-long linear earthwork built by the Mercians against their Welsh enemies to control movement of people, animals and materials through this frontier landscape.

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There remains, however, the question of whether the comparable notch outside the bailey of the castle is also a trace of Wat’s Dyke. Fox thought not. Still, in the photo below, you can see how its route parallels the line of the dyke and it remains a possibility that a relict of the dyke continued on this line.

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Looking south – the ditch of the castle bailey runs left to right while Wat’s Dyke runs along the ridge-top behind. But is this smaller earthwork in the foreground somehow a trace of the former line of Wat’s Dyke too?

Incidentally, here is a photo of the motte of the castle, as previously discussed here. It is well-worth a visit and is a fabulous example of a promontory location of an Anglo-Norman castle in a woodland situation.

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