The accuracy of radiocarbon dating
Under the name Gado, he is portrayed as the son of a king of the Vandals who befriended Offa, King of Mercia.As a champion of the just, he was temporarily able to frighten off the Romans who were preparing to invade Offas kingdom.The name of the dyke incorporates either the Old English personal name Wat (which is unlikely given the early spellings) or the name of the folk hero Wade (Old English Wada).There is no reason to suspect that it derives from Old English wet (wet), as has been suggested, but it is highly improbable that he is the same individual commemorated here.
It is usually thought that the name is not of any great antiquity, being first documented (as Clauwdd Wade) in 1431, although the lateness of the date may be a result of the vagaries of survival of Welsh medieval documents.
All manuscripts of Bede have the incorrect initial Uc-, so the corruption of the name must go back to a very early copy of the Historia, if not to Bede himself.
Nevertheless, the Old English town name may be analysed as meaning Roman city of the Watlingas, the Watlingas being the people of little Wat.
concluded that Wats Dyke consisted of three separate stretches of earthwork, with gaps between them.
In these places, he surmised, formerly dense forest or deep ravines made a formal barrier unnecessary.
Nor does it appear likely that it derives from the name of a member of the Mercian royal dynasty, which contains no individuals with a name containing the element Wad-.