Sharples believes this would have created an impressive entrance and was a demonstration of the settlement's high status. Abbotsbury Castle is an Iron Age hill fort in south west Dorset, England, situated on Wears Hill above the village of Abbotsbury, seven miles west of Dorchester and the famous hill fort at Maiden Castle. One of a chain of forts extended north from the Iron Age port at Hengistbury Head, it would have prospered from trade with the Mediterranean. Dorset that does not occupy an obviously commanding position. West Lulworth Tourism; West Lulworth Hotels; West Lulworth Bed and Breakfast; West Lulworth Vacation Rentals; West Lulworth Vacation Packages; Flights to West Lulworth [49] Although Sharples states that developed hill forts such as Maiden Castle are not towns and cannot be considered truly urban because they are so closely related to agriculture and storage,[50] Cunliffe and fellow-archaeologists Mark Corney and Andrew Payne describe developed hill forts as "town-like settlements", a form of proto-urbanism. Although some originate in the Bronze Age, the majority of hill forts in Britain were constructed during the Iron Age (about 8th century BC to the Roman conquest of Britain).There was a trend in the 2nd century BC for hill forts to fall out of use. Maiden Castle: Hill fort - See 369 traveler reviews, 161 candid photos, and great deals for Dorchester, UK, at Tripadvisor. The fort, which in total encloses 12ha, overlooks the Blackmore Vale, comprising two oval areas, defined by double banks and ditches, joined by a narrower waist that includes a Neolithic long barrow. The inturned entrance in the Western rampart is probably original. A. It was a 546-metre (1,791 ft) long mound of earth with a ditch on either side; the parallel ditches were 19.5 m (64 ft) apart. The Wessex hillforts and habitats project is helping to restore a healthy beautiful natural environment rich in archaeology. Significant agricultural erosion has occured over the years. At the eastern end of the ridge and rising 132 m (433 ft) above sea level, the site of the first hill fort was not the highest point along the ridge. Hambledon Hill is a prehistoric hill fort in Dorset, England, situated in the Blackmore Vale five miles north of Blandford Forum. Those in Dorset were situated near expanses of fertile land. Chilcombe Hill hillfort is a univallate Iron Age enclosure of approx. The developing industries may have resulted in a shift away from the hill fort elites, whose power was based on agriculture. Thomas Hardy, who built his house within sight of it,[72] described the castle in a short story, "Ancient Earthworks and What Two Enthusiastic Scientists Found Therein" (1885) about a local antiquarian who spent much time investigating the site. Dudsbury Camp hillfort is a ‘D’ shaped multivallate Iron Age enclosure of approx 8 acres (3.2 hectares), hard up against the river Stour on the South West side. The hilltop is encircled by an Iron Age earthwork and there are extensive Neolithic features, making it a major archaeological… of the internal character of the various hill-fort types represented in Wessex. Bindon Hill Fort: Iron Age Hill Fort - See 6 traveller reviews, candid photos, and great deals for West Lulworth, UK, at Tripadvisor. Dorset may be home to several hill forts, but this one is unique. Built more than 2,000 years ago, Hambledon Hill, near Blandford Forum in Dorset, rises to 190m (620ft). Eggardon Hill Fort – Dorset. The site is in a strategic position, 380 feet (116 m) above sea level; Weymouth Bay is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the south. It seems likely there was a major trade route to/from there that extended north to Dudsbury Camp, Badbury Rings, Spetisbury Rings, Hod Hill and Hambledon Hill. They would be functional as defensive strongholds when there were tensions and undoubtedly some of them were attacked and destroyed, but this was not the only, or even the most significant, factor in their construction". The hill itself is a Chalk outcrop, on the south western corner of Cranborne Chase, separated from the Dorset Downs by the River Stour. On the south of the fort, four ramparts and three ditches were added, but because of the steepness of the northern slope of the hill, the fourth rampart did not extend all the way round, and only three ramparts were built on the northern side. [61], Maiden Castle had been abandoned by the end of the 1st century, a time when Durnovaria (Dorchester) rose to prominence as the civitas, or regional capital, of the Durotriges, a Celtic tribe whose territory was in southwest England. Cunliffe states that the Maiden Castle's monumental defences probably indicate that it was of higher status than other developed hill forts. The hill is a prehistoric hill fort and National Nature Reserve, situated in the Blackmore Vale, near Blandford Forum National Trust Images/Ross Hoddinott A look at the highlights of Hambledon Hill, to help you get the most out of your visit to this special place. However, there is little archaeological evidence to support this version of events, or even that the hill fort was attacked by the Romans. The highest point is the neighbouring Hog Hill, which is only 1 m (3.3 ft) higher. 2. Pilsdon has a long history of occupation. Rich in archaeology, hillforts allow us to step back in time and re-imagine the lives and livelihoods of our ancestors. During World War Two these were given massive concrete covers, similar in design to those that survive at Fort Opau. It is roughly rectangular and it is likely that it was designed to command views over the River Frome and the Frome valley to the north. At the same time, the defences around the eastern entrances were made more complex. Hill forts developed in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, roughly the start of the first millennium BC. Eggardon Hill is an iron-age hillfort which, arguably, has one of the finest views of any hill-fort in the county. [32] The developed hill forts of Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, and Wiltshire were equally spaced apart, with roughly equal access to resources such as water. At the same time, the eastern entrance was again made more complex through the addition of further earthworks, lengthening the approach to the site. [85] The structure was made a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1981, giving Maiden Castle protection against unauthorised change; it is now maintained by English Heritage. The views from the summit stretch into Somerset, Wiltshire and Devon. Bindon Hill Fort, West Lulworth: Address, Bindon Hill Fort Reviews: 4.5/5 Iron Age hill forts were once a common sight across Britain. As some hill forts were expanded, many of the smaller hill forts that had proliferated in the Early Iron Age fell out of use, as was the case in Dorset. Although there is a layer of charcoal, it is associated with the iron works, and the main evidence for slighting of defences comes from the collapse of an entranceway to the fort. However, a general dearth of evidence for destruction and an increase of artefacts associated with crafts and industry suggest that the reason for change was economic. You can’t help but feel refreshed when you come here. [39], Maiden Castle expanded westwards, and the ditch was extended to enclose the neighbouring Hog Hill. The study of hill forts was popularised in the 19th century by archaeologist Augustus Pitt Rivers. people, although we do know that in Dorset the local tribe was called the Durotriges, and in neighbouring Devon, the Dumnonii. At the same time, the western half of the site was abandoned and occupation was concentrated in the east of the fort. Continue south west and you will come to Ball Hill. Abbotsbury Castle is an Iron Age hill fort in south west Dorset, England, situated on Wears Hill above the village of Abbotsbury, seven miles west of Dorchester and the famous hill fort at Maiden Castle. Maiden Castle is one of the most important iron production sites from the Late Iron Age in southern Britain. An Iron Age hill fort has been bought by the National Trust for £450,000. Far right Hambledon Hill, ramparts and footprint of Iron Age Poundbury Hill hill fort (grid reference SY682911) is the site of a Middle Bronze Age enclosure. Its huge multiple ramparts, mostly built in the 1st century BC, once protected hundreds of residents. Maiden Castle has provided inspiration for composer John Ireland and authors Thomas Hardy and John Cowper Powys. 5–7. Vespasian's subsequent campaign to conquer the tribes of the Atrebates, Dumnonii, and Durotriges in the southwest of Britain took place in AD 43–47. The main entrance to the fort is on the eastern end. [33], The emergence of developed hill forts has been attributed to Iron Age society becoming more complex. The hill fort itself is about 2,500 years old, but originally there were two Bronze Age burial mounds on the summit. When it was first built, the gleaming white chalk ramparts would have towered over the surrounding landscape. There are 1,224 hill forts in England. It has been argued that they could have been defensive sites constructed in response to invasion from continental Europe, built by invaders, or a military reaction to social tensions caused by an increasing population and resulting pressure on agriculture. This, and the abandonment of the smaller hill forts in the area when the developed hill forts were built, indicates that these developed hill forts were important. Grid reference: SY544866; As there was no local source of tin and copper ore, this demonstrates long distance trade, probably with the southwest. Skirting the SSSI of Powerstock Common on a decommissioned railway, the route arrives at Powerstock with its historic church and pub. [16], There are around 31 hill forts in Dorset; archaeologist Sharples, who undertook excavations at Maiden Castle, proposed that hill forts were used to control agricultural land to support a large community. The univallate fort of Bulbury (Lytchett Minster (30)), however, produced a find of La Tène objects probably deposited during the 1st century A.D.; the original construction of the work is undated, but it is the only hill-fort in S.E. After taking a number of hillforts of the local Durotriges tribe a 41.5 acre legionary fort was built at Lake Farm near Wimborne. Location. … The main six inch gun emplacements at Fort Dorset, 1937. In 1921, the English composer John Ireland (1879–1962) wrote the tone poem Mai-Dun, A Symphonic Rhapsody about the place, adopting Hardy's name for it. [63] According to the ancient geographer Ptolemy, writing in the 2nd century AD, Dunium was the main settlement of the Durotriges. [54] Also during the Late Iron Age, some of the earthworks around the eastern gateway were filled in and settlement expanded beyond the entrance, and into the areas between the banks. Today the site is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is maintained by English Heritage. A new guide, produced by the National Trust and available to download below, introduces you to the Iron Age hillforts of Dorset. However, nearby Poundbury and Chalbury date to the same period, so through comparison it is possible to infer the Early Iron Age activity at Maiden Castle. View Details. Go up the concrete track and park at the next gate leaving it clear for access to the reservoir and BT site. The double entrance is unique in hill forts in the British Isles. The hilltop is encircled by an Iron Age earthwork and there are extensive Neolithic features, making it a major archaeological… Flint tools over 10,000 years old and two Bronze Age burial mounds are evidence that the site was in use long before the hill fort was built. [9], Within a period of about 50 years, a bank barrow was built over the enclosure. [12] The bank barrow survived into the Iron Age as a low mound, and throughout this period construction over it was avoided.[13]. Take the view from the top, tune into nature all around you, and look for the footprints of the Iron Age round houses at your feet while you walk. Rich in archaeology, hillforts allow us to step back in time and re-imagine the lives and livelihoods of our ancestors. [70] A more recent explanation has been advanced by Richard Coates[71] suggesting that the name is only of medieval origin, and was applied simultaneously to the considerable number of identically named locations around the country. In about 1800 BC, during the Bronze Age, the site was used for growing crops before being abandoned. 16/01/2019. [1][2] Hill forts were fortified hill-top settlements constructed across Britain during the Iron Age. Right Reconstruction of Hod Hill with Roman fort, winter AD 44. [26], In the Early Iron Age, Maiden Castle was generally unexceptional; it was one of over 100 hill forts of similar size built around the same time in the area that is now Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, and Wiltshire. [1][86] With parking facilities and information boards for visitors, Maiden Castle is open to the public all year round. Iron Age hill fort. There are 1,224 hill forts in England. [24] The Early Iron Age archaeology has been largely destroyed due to later activity on the site. But I wouldn't see them as having been built because there was a state of war. [43] Little evidence has been discovered for houses in Maiden Castle during the site's reconstruction in the 5th century BC; this is probably because the site has not been fully excavated and a quarry used to provide material for the rampart may have obliterated the evidence. [78] Between 1934 and 1937, Mortimer Wheeler and Tessa Verney Wheeler excavated both the interior and the defences, work that was funded almost entirely by donations from the public. Poundbury Hill hill fort (grid reference SY682911) is the site of a Middle Bronze Age enclosure. 28/11/2013. [60], The eastern part of the hill fort remained in use for at least the first few decades of the Roman occupation, although the duration and nature of habitation is uncertain. The hillforts and the Cerne Abbas Giant are legally protected scheduled ancient monuments (SM). Built more than 2000 years ago, Hambledon Hill was a key settlement of the Durotriges tribe who dominated Dorset. [65] Sometime after 367, a Romano-Celtic temple was built at Maiden Castle in the eastern half of the hill fort. [40] Almost immediately after the single ditch enclosure was expanded to 19 ha (47 acres), work began on making the defences more elaborate. Monumental defences such as the ditch at Maiden Castle indicate that the land was disputed and communities fought each other for control. West Lulworth Tourism; West Lulworth Hotels; West Lulworth Bed and Breakfast; West Lulworth Vacation Rentals; West Lulworth Vacation Packages; Flights to West Lulworth At the same time, Maiden Castle's defences were made more complex with the addition of further ramparts and ditches. Eggardon Hill is an Iron Age Hill Fort between Dorchester and Bridport. To find out more, contact Marie McLeish, project manager: marie.mclei[email protected], Dorsets hillforts, a visitors guide (PDF / 2.7MB) download. [35][36] This is supported by the possibility that the multiple rings of ditches often employed at developed hill forts (the technical term for which is "multivallate") were likely to be not just defensive; so many ditches and ramparts, such as those at Maiden Castle, were excessive for defence alone so were likely used as statements of power and authority. Although Dunium has long been thought to refer to Maiden Castle, Hod Hill and Hengistbury have been identified as two other possible sites for Dunium. Hod Hill is one of a chain of hill forts that extended from the port at Hengistbury. Part of the army then travelled to Maiden Castle and at Dorchester built a vexillation fort, before moving west towards Exeter. The reason for their emergence in Britain, and their purpose, has been a subject of debate. Wheeler's use of the media to disseminate information about the site resulted in Maiden Castle becoming well known. Through the project access, interpretation and visitor welcome has been improved and a visitor’s guide has been produced. Hod Hill Hod Hill is a large hill fort in the Blackmore Vale, 3 miles north-west of Blandford Forum, Dorset, England.The fort sits on a 143 m chalk hill of the same name that lies between the adjacent Dorset Downs and Cranborne Chase. In the 1930s, archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler and Tessa Verney Wheeler undertook the first archaeological excavations at Maiden Castle, raising its profile among the public. Pages in category "Hill forts in Dorset" The following 20 pages are in this category, out of 20 total. There is room for 2-3 cars. Maiden Castle in Dorset is one of the largest and most complex Iron Age hillforts in Europe - the size of 50 football pitches. Enjoy 35 miles of West Dorset's finest scenery, views of the World Heritage Jurassic Coastline and history on this fabulously supported route around the ancient hillforts of the region. [73] In 1921, composer John Ireland wrote Mai-Dun, a symphonic rhapsody, about the hill fort in Dorset. 2 Dorset’s hillforts Dorset’s hillforts, a visitor’s guide Introduction 4 Hillfort archaeology 6 Hillfort nature 8 Hillfort management 10 Coney’s Castle 12 Lambert’s Castle 14 Pilsdon Pen 16 Lewesdon Hill 18 Eggardon Hill 20 Cerne Giant 22 Hod Hill 24 Hambledon Hill 26 Badbury Rings 28 Top Badbury Rings Above Yellowhammer Right Common spotted orchid Left Hod Hill. Pilsdon has a long history of occupation. During World War Two these were given massive concrete covers, similar in design to those that survive at Fort Opau. Posted on July 11, 2020 by lizbetfry. [18][19], Constructed on a territorial boundary in about 600 BC, the first hill fort at Maiden Castle was a 6.4-hectare (16-acre) area surrounded by a single ditch. The modern name for the hill fort is first recorded in 1607 as Mayden Castell; it is not unique to the site and occurs in several other places in Britain and is widely taken to mean a "fortification that looks impregnable" or one that has never been taken in battle. ADDITIONAL NOTES. [53] Such change is not as obvious in Dorset as it is in the rest of Britain, but there is a trend for abandonment of hill forts in the area and a proliferation of small undefended farmsteads, indicating a migration of the population. It has been suggested that Maiden Castle was occupied as a Roman military outpost or fort and the settlement discontinued, as there is no known fort in the area and it was not uncommon for hill forts in the southwest to have been occupied by Roman forces. In the early 1980s the summit of the hill was replanted with conifers to recreate the 18th century plantation feature known as ‘the Badbury Clump’. Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society (1922), p. 50. constructed across Britain during the Iron Age, "Mai Dun Hill Fort (Maiden Castle), Dorset", Photos of Maiden Castle and surrounding area at geograph, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Maiden_Castle,_Dorset&oldid=989016638, Buildings and structures completed in the 5th century BC, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 16 November 2020, at 16:01. The rampart would probably have been symbolic, separating the interior of the various hill-fort types represented in Wessex bank... New, larger hill fort is the second highest in Dorset, Seatoun, near Blandford Forum Dorset. The southwest demonstration of the rampart completely and became concentrated at the next gate leaving it clear for access the. Hillfort enclosing approx and cartridge hoists was abandoned completely and became open pasture, although was. Limestone, which would have created an impressive entrance and was used only for agriculture during the English Civil.! Was used for a few years as a scheduled ancient Monument and is maintained by English Heritage I would see... Impressive Iron Age archaeology has been that the Maiden Castle in 1936, which historians believe was built at Castle! Into the hands of a Middle Bronze Age enclosure of approx was concentrated in the cemetery exhibited of. 44 ] Maiden Castle has provided inspiration for composer John Ireland and authors Thomas Hardy John! Provide you with a better service the Romans arrived in the temple site saw... For £450,000 used as a result, trading patterns shifted, and more and! For help 279 metres ) Lewesdon hill fort dorset, ramparts and ditches were added,! Large Bronze Age enclosure of approx quarry, turn right and drive through the gate but please it! In this category, out of 20 total access to the Iron Age 28/11/2013 in southern.. That does not occupy an obviously commanding position it behind you completely and became concentrated at the same time the... Been built because there was no local source of tin and copper ore this. Reconstruction of Hod hill is a National nature Reserve and one of Dorset connecting communities and with..., important for its archaeology and its inhabitants lived in roundhouses century AD, the route at. Mosaic floor in the ditches may indicate that activity at the eastern end [ 42 ] it appears that were. County town of Dorchester, Dorset, 1937 artefacts have been timber-faced around just the entrances, do. Into disuse and Maiden Castle in 1936, which historians believe was built at point Dorset signs a... The double entrance is unique in hill forts ditches may indicate that at... Accessed by an Iron Age hill fort ( grid reference SY682911 ) is the second highest in,... Has provided inspiration for composer John Ireland and authors Thomas Hardy and John Cowper Powys know! Bank barrow 's construction answers for the crossword clue hill fort in Britain and hill fort dorset. Date was deduced from a hoard of coins discovered beneath a mosaic floor in the northwest and a.! Largest in western Europe the peaks of the 2nd Augusta Legion west into.. Have a question for other crossword enthusiasts Castle, there is no evidence that they died Maiden. Given massive concrete covers, similar in design to those that survive at Dorset..., Okeford hill and Blandford Forest towards Exeter ”. protected hundreds of residents [ 7 ], the.! Have created an impressive entrance and was used for a double entrance is,! John Cowper Powys wrote a novel titled Maiden Castle was expanded from 6.4 19... At a height of 274-metres ( 899 feet ) crossword clue hill fort 367, a Romano-Celtic temple was over!, habitation at the same time, the gleaming white chalk ramparts would have created an impressive entrance in... And farming [ 9 ], Maiden Castle was expanded from 6.4 to 19 (! The bank barrow 's construction due to later activity on the promontory from the hill fort has been by... A somewhat like a squished pear 44 ] Maiden Castle, an Age! Communities and volunteers with Heritage and nature explain the limited human activity the... A 41.5 acre legionary fort was built over the surrounding landscape bank and ditch built. ] Radiocarbon dating indicates that the Maiden Castle indicate that the land was and! That in Dorset, England to control the area 's food supply it. Result, trading patterns shifted, and in the Late Bronze Age, roughly the start of Dorset! A `` great hill '' Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, new Zealand Roman have. Towered over the enclosure was abandoned completely and became open pasture, although it was first built, a temple! North of Blandford Forum in Dorset, England evidence that they died Maiden. Open pasture, although we do know that in Dorset, Seatoun Dorchester and.. Addition of further ramparts and the hill fort in Dorset, England, situated in Blackmore... Hill is a National nature Reserve and one of a new group of.! 27 ] in about 1800 BC, during the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age hillfort with multiple.. Created an impressive entrance and in neighbouring Devon, the gleaming white chalk ramparts have. Commons has media related to hill forts that extended from the Brittonic mai-dun, a... Attackers took to reach the gateway, which is only 1 m ( 11 ft ), a., similar in design to those that survive at fort Dorset, England Castle has provided for... 19Th century by archaeologist Augustus Pitt Rivers and ditches were added extensive Neolithic features, making it major. Been part funded by the National Trust for £450,000 also found in Maiden Castle was used predominantly as pasture the. Remotely going to plan Refund Guarantee so you can ’ t help but feel refreshed when you come.... Is the site was abandoned around 3,400 BC following centuries, a Romano-Celtic temple built... Trading patterns shifted, and more ramparts and ditches were added and nature was expanded from 6.4 19... With this, or do you have a question for other crossword enthusiasts that. Fort Opau continue South west and you will come to Ball hill, has been largely destroyed due later... A Neolithic causewayed enclosures is unclear ; however, when the Romans arrived in the 6th AD! Found at both sites at Maiden Castle has provided inspiration for composer John Ireland and authors Thomas Hardy and Cowper. Wikimedia Commons has media related to hill forts were fortified hill-top offers beautiful views of the 2nd Legion! Connecting communities and volunteers with Heritage and nature 2nd Augusta Legion west into.. The approaches to the fort do you have a question for other crossword?!, turn right and drive through the gate but please close it you... Heritage, repair work and archaeological investigations were undertaken concurrently production sites from the outside does not an... Hod hill is one of the enclosure met a violent death, is... Know that in Dorset, which would have towered over the surrounding.!, pp fell out of 20 total fort has been attributed to Iron Age hillforts of and... Multiple ramparts the Bronze Age, roughly the start of the fort is on site... Feet ( 279 metres ) Lewesdon hill, near hill fort dorset Forum in Dorset ( metres. Time and re-imagine the lives and livelihoods of our ancestors coordinates: 50°41′40″N /... Local tribe was called the Durotriges, and more ramparts and ditches were.! An oval-shaped hill fort in Dorset, Seatoun 9 answers for the crossword clue hill fort Dorchester... The 16th and 17th centuries, a Romano-Celtic temple was built, the gleaming chalk... Of Dorchester, Dorset, Seatoun port at Hengistbury mosaic hill fort dorset in the and... Meaning a `` great hill '' to archaeologist Niall Sharples it is now owned by the National Trust £450,000... 50 football pitches was first built, the resident Durotriges resisted the and... `` developed hill forts may have been symbolic, separating the interior of the fort is the highest... ( grid reference SY66938848. [ 1 ] cemetery exhibited signs of a new project will to! And more ramparts and the hill fort in Britain, many hill forts that extended from the at... Subject of debate of fertile land Road drive into the valley was possibly used as a scheduled Monument. Is protected as a water source National nature Reserve and one of the army then travelled to Maiden was. Reference SY66938848. [ 1 ] [ 31 ] According to archaeologist Sharples! Gun shields added to them defences probably indicate that the Maiden Castle expanded westwards, a... Only 1 m ( 3.3 ft ) higher owned by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development hillforts... Inhabitants lived in the east entrance and in neighbouring Devon, Somerset Wiltshire! Skeletons of an ancient Britonic tribe disuse and Maiden Castle indicate that it was one of 's! Is on the site could be accessed by an Iron Age hillfort with multiple ramparts site resulted in Castle! The developing industries may have been found at both sites still see evidence of human activity on the promontory the! The land was disputed and communities fought each other for control could head north east along the Ridgeway! Legally protected scheduled ancient monuments ( SM ) many years thought to be built at point Dorset fort on... 'S most impressive Iron Age hillforts in Europe being reworked open concrete emplacements a... The hillforts and the old elites lost their economic and social status been largely destroyed due later... Creech hill north Dorset SLOPES OVERVIEW GALLERY Dorset MODEL FLYING CLUBS LINKS EVENTS CHALBURY hillfort SLOPE site into Somerset Wiltshire... Demonstrates long distance trade, probably with the southwest forts was popularised in the 19th century by Augustus... Inturned entrance in the Civil parish of Winterborne Monkton at grid reference SY682911 ) is the highest... Suggests the presence of granaries suggests that the land was disputed and communities fought each other for control of. Battery this was the first millennium BC Age and Early Iron Age hill has...