Yesterday, John Swogger and I finally got the opportunity to present and ‘launch’ the ‘What’s Wat’s Dyke? Wrexham Comic Heritage Trail at the Northop History Day 2022. After such a long break from public talks, it was a most-welcome and successful event, especially so presenting in a historic village a stone’s throw from Wat’s Dyke itself!
I talked about what we know about Britain’s third-longest linear monument, and the challenge of presenting it to the public. I then suggested possibilities for future expansions of the comic trail as well as other ideas for linking up locations along Wat’s Dyke with the broader story of the Welsh Marches.
Now available online in both Welsh and English, ‘What’s Wat’s Dyke? explores the story of Wat’s Dyke through 10 locations along its line in the city of Wrexham and its immediate environs.
The talk was to c. 50 people and I shared out a free copy of the comic to each of the attendees. In addition, I got some great feedback and invitations to speak to other societies as well as visit Wat’s Dyke on private land!
After 2-and-a-half years of hiatus from most public events, it was a breath of fresh air to be at a well-organised, popular and fun history event.
Here’s my TikTok!
Here is the digital launch of the comic from last July in which John and I went to the 10 locations we visualised to explain our rationale and choices:
John couldn’t make it to Northop on 1st October but he sent a wonderful set of videos to support my talk. Here they are:
Finally, here are the publications about the project:
Swogger, J. and Williams, H. 2020. Envisioning Wat’s Dyke, in K. Gleave, H. Williams and P. Clarke (eds) Public Archaeologies of Frontiers and Borderlands. Oxford: Archaeopress. 193–210. https://www.archaeopress.com/Archaeopress/Products/9781789698015
Swogger, J. and Williams, H. 2021. Drawing the line: What’s Wat’s Dyke? Practice and Process. Offa’s Dyke Journal 3: 211-242. http://revistas.jasarqueologia.es/index.php/odjournal/article/view/326
Williams, H. 2020. Interpreting Wat’s Dyke in the 21st century, in K. Gleave, H. Williams and P. Clarke (eds) Public Archaeologies of Frontiers and Borderlands. Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 157–193. https://www.archaeopress.com/Archaeopress/Products/9781789698015
Williams, H. and Swogger, J. 2021. What’s Wat’s Dyke? Wrexham Comic Heritage Trail. Offa’s Dyke Journal 3: 183-210. http://revistas.jasarqueologia.es/index.php/odjournal/article/view/325