The Kingdom of Mercia (Old English: Miercna rce), was one of the kingdoms of the early Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. The name is derived from the Old English Mierce or Myrce, meaning "border people". The kingdom was centred on the valley of the River Trent and its tributaries, in the region now the English Midlands. The kingdom's "capital" was the town of Tamworth, which was the seat of the Mercian Kings from at least around AD 584, when King Creoda built a fortress at the town.
For 300 years (between AD 600 and 900), having annexed or gained submissions from five of the other six kingdoms of the Heptarchy (East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex and Wessex), Mercia dominated England south of the River Humber: this period is known as the Mercian Supremacy. The reign of King Offa, who is best remembered for his Dyke which designated the boundary between Mercia and the Welsh kingdoms, is sometimes known as the "Golden Age of Mercia". Nicholas Brooks noted that "the Mercians stand out as by far the most successful of the various early Anglo-Saxon peoples until the later ninth century", and some historians, such as Sir Frank Stenton, believe the unification of England south of the Humber estuary was achieved during the reign of Offa.
Mercia is still used as a geographic designation, and the name is used by wide range of organisations, including military units, public, commercial and voluntary bodies.
Mercia is one of the ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England
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