Llywarch Hen’s Dyke: Place and Narrative in Early Medieval Wales

Andy Seaman


Dykes must have been important features within the early medieval landscape, but scarcely attract more than cursory discussion in archaeological literature focused on Wales and western Britain. Analysis of a dyke recorded in a boundary clause attached to an eighth century charter in the Book of Llandaff demonstrates how a multidisciplinary approach can garner new insights into the function and significance of dykes in the early medieval landscape. Llywarch Hen’s Dyke defined a large part of the bounds of Llan-gors, a royal estate in the kingdom of Brycheiniog. On the ground the dyke is represent by a prominent agricultural land boundary, but the monument also operated as a ‘mnemonic peg’ through which oral traditions associated with power and place were narrated.


Book of Llandaff, Brycheiniog, charters, Llan-gors, Llywarch Hen, place-names, Wales

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.23914/odj.v1i0.252


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