Photo : View of Tintern Abbey from Devil’s Pulpit
A major, but temporary, diversion to the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail is part of conservation works to protect the iconic view of Tintern Abbey from Devil’s Pulpit for future visitors. This work is part of the Overlooking the Wye scheme which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and managed through the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership. The Devil’s Pulpit viewpoint is such a popular site that it has suffered severe erosion over the years. The conservation works will run from Mon 28th Feb to Fri 24th June 2011 approximately. As the works will be progressive along a section of the trail, there will be two diversions to cover different sections of pathworks. Between 28th Feb and 4th April the smaller diversion on the map (identified as Phase 1: A to B) will be in operation. Then between 4th April and 24th June the longer diversion (identified as Phase 2: A to C) will be in operation. However, there may be some alteration to these dates as work progresses, dependent on the weather. Diversion signs and maps will be in place on the trail to direct walkers once works start.
Photo: View of the erosion at Devil’s Pulpit
Offa’s Dyke dates back to the 8th century when King Offa is said to have ordered its construction to divide his kingdom of Mercia from what is now Wales. Four centuries later Tintern Abbey was built and the legend goes that the Devil taunted the monks from the rock pinnacle overlooking the Wye and the abbey. Forty years ago the National Trail was established along Offa’s Dyke. The Dyke is now a scheduled monument and the works will create a ‘new’ footpath along the top of it. This will follow the contours of the monument but ensure that future walkers will be wearing away the ‘new’ surfacing rather than historic material. (See attached drawings) Additional works has already improved the access to Devil’s Pulpit from both the Forestry Commission car park at Tidenham Chase and up from Tintern.
As with many of the sites in the AONB and the Overlooking the Wye scheme, works are only possible due to the effective partnerships of organisations working together. The design for this conservation work has been created by Opus International Consultants in liaison with English Heritage, Forestry Commission (England), Gloucestershire County Council Archaeology Service, Gloucestershire County Council Rights of Way, Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail, Forest of Dean District Council, Wye Valley AONB, local residents and landowners and the Overlooking the Wye team. These works have been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Gloucestershire County Council, English Heritage, Forestry Commission (England) and the Forest of Dean District Council.
CLICK HERE to see the diversionary route for walkers whilst the conservation works are in progress. For further information about the diversion please contact Gloucestershire County Council Rights of Way department (01452 425595) and for information about the progress of the works please contact Kate Biggs, Overlooking the Wye Project Officer at email@example.com or tel: 01600 891525