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Sutton Walls



About four miles north-eastward from Hereford, is Sutton Walls, celebrated as the Palace of Offa, King of the Mercians, where the unsuspecting Ethelbert was treacherously murdered..

Giraldus Cambriensis, in his life of St. Ethelbert, speaks of this place by the name of King's Sutton, and South-town Walls, and mentions some ruins of a Castle which he saw here. Leland also notices the "notable ruines of some auncyent and great building, sumtyme the mansion of King Offa, at such time Kenchestre stood, or els Herford was a begynning."

Sutton Walls comprehends a spacious Encampment on the summit of a hill, surrounded by asingle rampart, with entrances to the north and south. The area includes about thirty acres, and is nearly level, excepting towards the centre, where there is a low place, called Offa's Cellar: in digging on this spot, a silver ring, of an antique form, was found some years ago.

Sutton is included in the extensive manor of Marden, which was an ancient demesne belonging to the Crown, but given by King Offa to the Canons of Hereford.. in expiation of the murder of Ethelbert. Marden Church was built over the spot where Ethelbert was first buried, and where a well, which still exists, and is called St. Ethelbert's Well, is said to have miraculously sprung up. This edifice was dedicated to his memory, and stands within forty yards of the river Lugg. This neighbourhood abounds with good orchards, and the cyder is particularly celebrated.
The Beauties of England, v6, by John Britton etc. (1805)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th August 2007ce

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