Tag Archives: Geoffrey Hill

On Offa’s Dyke

More than twelve hundred years ago, King Offa of Mercia ordered a dyke built along the border between Wales and England. The Mercians dug a huge ditch on the Welsh-facing side and piled the soil into a rampart with open views to Wales. The story goes that “it was customary for the English to cut off the ears of every Welshman who was found to the east of the dyke, and for the Welsh to hang every Englishman whom they found to the west of it.” Continue reading