On Wednesday 17th I spent a fabulous day at the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park attending a meeting of the Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory North group. It was organised by Ray Bailey, member of the Collaboratory and ODC North’s chair.
Ray gave a presentation about the development of thinking about Offa’s Dyke’s northern stretches based on preliminary investigations of a series of earthworks identified by himself and Professor Keith Ray, in some cases attended by myself and other members of the group.
I then presented my talk on ‘Wat’s Dyke: Past, Present and Future’ in which I introduced our archaeological understanding of Britain’s third-longest linear monument and explored problems and potentials with its heritage interpretation. I presented the What’s Wat’s Dyke? comic as well as other ideas for engaging fresh audiences in the monument, including my idea of a ‘Tube Map’ showing where it was ran and where it can be seen today, as well as its intersections with other heritage sites and monuments.
Ray Bailey then presented a series of questions for ongoing and future work by the group regarding the linear earthworks of Flintshire, including the Whitford Dyke.
In the afternoon, Sophie Fish of Aura in Flintshire and I took the ODC North group on a guided tour of the section of Wat’s Dyke in the valley. We reflected on its early medieval date, function and significance as well as answering questions about the recent CPAT (Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust) excavations as well as the potential for heritage interpretations to replace the recently installed but vandalised panel.
A great day out and lovely to meet some interested and engaged enthusiasts in a wonderful heritage setting of the old school house!