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WATS DYKE

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A section of the eighth century frontier boundary of Mercia known as Wat's Dyke. The remains of the dyke's earthen bank and flanking ditch extend north and south from Old Oswestry hillfort (see SJ 23 SE 7). The southern section stands as an earthwork for roughly 140 metres, starting from the south west corner of the hillfort and ending at a recreation ground whose landscaping has modified the archaeological remains. From the northernmost quarter of the hillfort the dyke extends for over 700 metres NNE, its first 400 metres marked by a low earthen bank which has been incorporated into the post-medieval field boundary and is planted with a hedge. Along this line the ditch has become infilled but will survive as a buried feature. Further north the ditch survives as an earthwork and the broad bank remains up to 1 metre high. After roughly 140 metres the western side of the bank spreads and its line continues north as a clear scarp which peters out just south of the track to Pentre-Clawdd. The ditch is again buried along the line of the scarp, but a pond indicates its alignment. At the north end of this stretch of dyke the construction of Pentre-Clawdd Farm and its approach roads will have modified the remains. Scheduled.

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