King Offa

Offa ruled Mercia from 757 until his death in 796 he was one of the most powerful of the early Anglo Saxon kings. Offa's reign began when he seized power after his cousin King Aethelbald was murdered.He married his daughters Eadburga and Elfleda to the kings of Wessex and Northumbria respectively,and forcefully crushed resistance from several smaller kingdoms around his own to form one large state.The boundary of this kingdom with the lands controlled by the Welsh was marked by Offa's Dyke.
Offa also made a significant contribution to the English coinage when he introduced his silver penny these coins were probably minted in Cantebury and influenced the design of English coins for many centuries. When a hoard of some 300 coins were found during excavations for a new school in 1877 more than 30 of the coins came from the ancient Tamworth mint. During Offa's time in Tamworth his palace is thought to have been in the vicinity of Market Street near to where the Town Hall stands today, it is also thought that he built a small scale version of his famous dyke around the town as protection from attack. Offa has a street named after him in Tamworth quite near to where his ditch is said to have run.

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