Beech Bottom Dyke is a striking mile long Iron Age earthwork, linked to Shakespeare’s King Cymbeline, and set in an ancient area of commons called “Bernards Heath”. It is unpublicised and lacks interpretation – except for this guided walk.
The local 19th century water colourist Henry Buckingham depicted this scene at Beech Bottom Dyke in 1859 when rifle training was given. At that time there was a threat of a possible invasion from France.
(by kind permission of St Albans Museum).
The Dyke is St Albans’ least known heritage asset. It is a huge Scheduled Ancient Monument running round the north of the city. Rendezvous at St Saviour’s Church Hall (Sandpit Lane, St Albans, AL1 4DF) at 2.00pm for a short talk followed by a guided circular walk across Bernards Heath, along the Dyke and back to the church hall for refreshments (to be paid for).
We will interpret the setting of the Dyke and explain what is known about it, including its roles in the Wars of the Roses and defending us against the French in the 19th century. Literature and local experts will be on hand on the walk and in the church hall. Free parking is available at or near the church hall. Stout footwear is recommended. Dogs on leads welcome. The Dyke itself is not wheel-chair or buggy accessible. A reasonable level of fitness is needed to walk along the Dyke. The event will end by 5.00pm.
Please note that the the joining instructions below are the right ones and supersede those in the Friends of Bernards Heath newsletter.
Whole event up to three hours, walk approx. one hour.
Numbers are being requested to help the caterers and to ensure we do not exceed the capacity of the hall. Booking will be first come, first served.
Find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07811 393694
There are no access restrictions for the Church Hall, but the Dyke itself can be rough under foot, especially after wet weather. The barriers there against motor cycles effectively prevent wheelchairs or buggies gaining access to the Dyke.
This sort of event is the only opportunity to enjoy interpretation of this Scheduled Ancient Monument.
http://www.bernardsheath.org Twitter: @Bernards_Heath
Facebook: Friends of Bernards Heath