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The Marches

History

This region has seen its share of territorial scuffles and all-out battles for centuries. These conflicts took place between feuding kingdoms along what is today the border separating England and Wales. In the 8th century the Anglo-Saxon king Offa of Mercia built an earthwork barricade along the border to attempt to quell the ongoing tension. It became known as Offa’s Dyke, and much of it is still traceable as a very popular walking route today.

In an effort to subdue the Welsh and secure his new kingdom, William the Conqueror set up powerful, feudal barons – called Lords Marcher after the Anglo-Saxon word mearc, meaning ‘boundary’ – along the border, from where they repeatedly raided Wales, taking as much territory as possible under their control.