and Greetings! You have reached the Wansdyke
Project 21 Homepage.
short obituary of Wansdyke expert Keith S.
Gardner, who sadly passed away on January 24th,
Project 21, which is launched through
this website, has the aim to support the
preservation of the ancient monument known as
Wansdyke. This earthwork is severely threathened
in some places by modern activities such as
building and agriculture, and may be lost if no
action is taken to schedule more parts of it.
Wansdyke Project 21 aims to endorse this by
making it better known to the general public by
discussing all aspects of this unique Dark Ages
Where's Wansdyke? Click the dot.
is Wansdyke? Wansdyke is a long ditch
and bank, also known as a linear defensive
earthwork - this is the technical term. Wansdyke
is dated to the Dark Ages, roughly between 400
and 700 AD. It runs from the Avon valley south of
Bristol to Savernake Forest near Marlborough in
Wiltshire. Maybe it is not as familiar to many
people as Offa's Dyke or Hadrian's Wall, yet it
is one of the largest linear earthworks in the UK.
was originally a large bank with a deep ditch in
front, and runs in an east-west alignment,
clearly pointing to a danger from the north. What
was this danger? Who were the builders? The name
points to the Saxon god Woden, but that does not
mean that it was pagan Anglo-Saxons who actually
built it. the name might mean it was only
dedicated to Woden by pagan Saxons, or that it
was already forgotten who the real builders were.
Archaeological research now seems to point to a
construction date in the 5th century.
Path. Another, long-term aim of this
project is the completion of a long-distance
footpath from Maes Knoll near Bristol to
Savernake Forest. The part of Wansdyke known as
East Wansdyke has for some time been accessed by
a beautiful footpath known as the Wansdyke Path.
An extension of this footpath from Morgan's Hill
westwards to Bath, and then across West Wansdyke
to Bristol, would greatly benefit the
preservation of this unique monument, as well as
present new opportunities to walkers.
in! Anyone who has become interested is
invited to join this project. Are you a rambler,
a rider or a cyclist? Please contact me, and we can work out how
you can support this project! Several
contributors have written a short report of their visit, while some of their
pictures can be admired at the Wansdyke Photo-Album.
Wansdyke in the s
won't budge for millions
Mound preserved for Future
from Saxon Warriors found
Police tackle Off-road
motorcyclists and fly- tippers
West to East
Wansdyke described from
beginnings at Maes Knoll hillfort south
of Bristol, to its ending near the
fringes of Savernake Forest south of
Marlborough. Each of the 10 sections
comes with many pictures and a set of
directions for each section.
From old 19th-century Parish maps from
Somerset and Wiltshire, to an overview of
the total course of Wansdyke by satellite
pictures and a revolving panoramic map!
These maps show details of Wansdyke such
as individual sarsen stones.
Here you'll find the more scholarly
articles and interviews with experts
about Wansdyke and other earthworks. Most
are brand-new, but I've reprinted some of
the older articles about Wansdyke as well.
This section contains the galleries of
several contributors to this site, as
well as pictures and drawings I've
collected for this website. Not just the
images used throughout the rest of the
site, but many, many more not seen before.
pictures of all visits of the editor to
Wansdyke during the summers of 1989, 1992,
1994 and 1996. Reports from other
contributors from 1996 to today, which
are intended as field-walk reports.
Stocked with pictures!
Several stunningly beautiful aerial views
of most parts of East Wansdyke, all
courtesy of Pete Glastonbury, who flew
over it in his ultralight aircraft. (large
files: 2.8 to 8.2 Mb).
Two very beautiful 360 degrees panoramic
views of Wansdyke. The first is of Tan
Hill, the second of West Woods, both
courtesy of Pete Glastonbury. (1.377 and
Links to many
other sites about Wansdyke. Also, more
links to other earthworks: Bokerley Dyke,
Car Dyke, Devil's Ditch(es), Fleam Dyke,
Grey Ditch, Grim's Ditch, Offa's Dyke,
and Wat's Dyke.