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King Offa

The 8th century saw the reign of King Offa, one of the most powerful Anglo-Saxons before Alfred the Great.

Driven by a lust for power, Offa was left with reputation rather than legacy.

Who was King Offa?

Following the bloody murder of his cousin, this Anglo-Saxon king ruled as King of Mercia (now known as East Midlands) from 757AD until his death in July 796.

Records of King Offa are limited but it is clear that he was a powerful ruler. Taking advantage of civil war in England he became the overlord of the Kingdom of Kent, along with Lincoln, Sussex and East Anglia at the height of his reign.

Offa’s conflicts with the Welsh kingdoms were regular, with the Mercians undertaking a series of battles and campaigns against the Welsh.

A sculpture of Offa was created by chainsaw artist Simon O’Rourke in 2012.

What is Offa’s Dyke?

Named after its creator King Offa, the dyke roughly follows the border of England and Wales. It is said to have run “sea to sea”.

Offa’s Dyke was built around 785AD, but little is known why. Some believe it was a defensive structure, others suggest it was a boundary marker.

The ditch of the dyke faced Welsh territory, with an up to eight metre high embankment offering clear views over King Offa’s kingdom.

Within Plas Power Woods you can see an impressive section of this 1,200-year-old dyke.