THE Offa's Dyke Centre will reopen on St David’s Day next year – almost a year to the day it closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Even though the Knighton-based centre was forced to shut its doors in March and will remain closed for a further five months, centre chiefs and members of the Offa’s Dyke Association (ODA) are thrilled that the closure has given them the opportunity to work on plans for the future.

These include a host of celebrations for 2021 – which will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Offa’s Dyke National Trail, in 1971.

Visitors will find a new exhibition interpreting Offa’s Dyke, its people and landscape with the displays arranged so as to promote social distancing. The ODA is proud to present the first of the year’s events planned to mark the occasion.

“The Offa's Dyke Centre has been closed since the end of March but we now have a plan for its future,” said ODA chairman Dave McGlade.

“We will reopen (Covid rules permitting of course) on St David's Day next year with new interpretive displays. We will also proudly present a season-long exhibition of paintings by artist Dan Llywelyn Hall.”

The Offa's Dyke Centre is a purpose-built information centre in Knighton, which sits perfectly on Offa's Dyke on the border between Wales and England, with the majority of the town sitting in Powys but some of it in Shropshire too. Some of the best remains of the earthworks can be accessed within a two-minute walk from the centre.

New paintings inspired by the Offa’s Dyke monument and path will be on display until August 2021. In conjunction with the exhibition a new publication with 12 poems, marking each section of the 177-mile path, will be launched, including poets such as Gillian Clarke, Owen Sheers, Twm Morris, Robert Minhinnick, Menna Elfyn and Oliver Lomax. Other features of the anniversary celebrations include stained glass artist Stephen Bradley, who will be commissioned to make a commemorative window for the centre’s re-opening.

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The monument is important to Mr Llywelyn Hall, who said: “Offa’s Dyke has always loomed large in my psyche. The frontier of a hinterland somewhere between past and present.

“The Offa’s Dyke Centre is the cultural centre of the monument and its protector-in-chief. It's an antidote to ignorance of our heritage and by extension, our shared landscape. I look forward to celebrating this anniversary in words and images and mining this rich seam of common ancestry.”

On July 10 a ceremony to mark 50 years to the day since the national trail was opened will be held in the park behind the centre. Over the weekend of July 9-11 the third Living History Festival will be held in the park. The festival will be free to visitors.

Mr McGlade added: “The ODA are confident the centre has a continuing place at the heart of the community in Knighton, welcoming both local people and visitors to the town along with many thousands of walkers through its doors. We want to expand what we do with the centre and work to ensure its long-term future in the town.”

A new Offa’s Dyke conservation project officer will move into the centre next spring. The ODA has partnered with Cadw and Historic England to publish a first end-to-end survey in the history of the dyke in both Wales and England and the appointment shows the long-term commitment of all three organisations to the future conservation of the monument. Meanwhile, the ODA continues to make its conservation fund available for the award of important grants towards the cost of conservation-based projects. Anyone interested in managing the monument may apply.

In other news, the ODA has welcomed two new members to its board of trustees in 2020.

They are looking to appoint a new manager to run the centre too and the post will be advertised shortly. They are also looking for volunteers to help run the centre after it reopens.

Although currently closed to the visiting public they are available for wedding bookings, as well as general room hire, and the online shop is always open.

Finally, they want to encourage people to become members of the ODA and would like to hear from local businesses interested in advertising. Individuals can join online at and if you are a prospective business advertiser or interested in taking on one of the roles or becoming a volunteer, email