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. 01 – Badbury Rings hillfort, Dorset. Contour Hillfort. Eggardon Hill is an iron-age hillfort which, arguably, has one of the finest views of any hill-fort in the county. 2. [66] The date was deduced from a hoard of coins discovered beneath a mosaic floor in the temple. In the 1930s, archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler and Tessa Verney Wheeler undertook the first archaeological excavations at Maiden Castle, raising its profile among the public. [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. 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. If you haven't solved the crossword clue Hill fort in Dorset yet try to search our Crossword Dictionary by entering the letters you already know! The banks have been denuded... Dorset Hillforts. In the Middle Iron Age, Maiden Castle was expanded and in the process it became the largest hill fort in Britain[27][28][29][30] and one of the largest in Europe. This list may not reflect recent changes . Ref: 1/4-048821-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. [45], Bronze objects such as pins, jewellery, and rivets have been found on the site, dating from the Middle Iron Age. Abbotsbury, Dorset. Hambledon Hill – Image Credit : Google EARTH . Those in Dorset were situated near expanses of fertile land. The hillforts and the Cerne Abbas Giant are legally protected scheduled ancient monuments (SM). In the 6th century AD the hill top was entirely abandoned and was used only for agriculture during the medieval period. [68] The only other significant activity on the hill top after the Romans was a short period of cultivation in the 17th century, as demonstrated by traces of ridge and furrow caused by ploughing.[69]. [59] Based on the discovery of a group of bodies in the Late Iron Age formal cemetery that had met a violent death, archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler created a vivid story of the fall of Maiden Castle to Roman forces. 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. The hilltop is encircled by an Iron Age earthwork and there are extensive Neolithic features, making it a major archaeological… 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. About. [63] According to the ancient geographer Ptolemy, writing in the 2nd century AD, Dunium was the main settlement of the Durotriges. [1][2] Hill forts were fortified hill-top settlements constructed across Britain during the Iron Age. [46] Good quality iron ore could be found in the surrounding area, but the hill fort does not appear to have been a centre for iron production in this period; this is not unusual as very few hill forts in Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, and Wiltshire exhibit traces of iron production. The hill itself is a Chalk outcrop, on the south western corner of Cranborne Chase, separated from the Dorset Downs by the River Stour. Stunning panoramic views across West Dorset and the Jurassic Coast but the bracing air also make it a great place for flying a kite, striding along the ramparts and feeling on top of the world. It was occupied until at least the Roman period, by which time it was in the territory of the Durotriges, a Celtic tribe. 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. … Elaborate timber facing would have been used to impress visitors. Hambledon Hill is a National Nature Reserve and one of Dorset's most impressive Iron Age hillfort with multiple ramparts. Hoards of carefully selected sling stones have been found at both sites. What’s more, this massive area with the size of 50 football pitches was first occupied around 3000 years BC. It overlooks the county town of Dorchester, Dorset, England. Nearest town/village: Bournemouth. Significant agricultural erosion has occured over the years. 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. [47] Early in the Iron Age, most of the pottery found at Maiden Castle was produced locally – within about 15 km (9.3 mi) – however later on sources further afield became more important, and by the Late Iron Age 95% of the pottery came from the area around Poole Harbour, more than 35 mi (56 km) away. Around 100 BC, habitation at the hill fort went into decline and became concentrated at the eastern end of the site. Significant agricultural erosion has occured over the years. There is evidence for activity on the site in the form of a few post-Roman or Anglo Saxon burials, some possibly Christian, but the hill fort was not reused as a settlement. 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. 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. people, although we do know that in Dorset the local tribe was called the Durotriges, and in neighbouring Devon, the Dumnonii. troops of the 2nd Augusta Legion west into Dorset. It was hoped that the combined results of the pro­ ject would considerably extend academic understanding of the socio-economic role of hillforts in southern England during the 1st millennium BC, thereby allowing a greater level of interpretation to be offered to visi­ tors at those sites with public access. [25] Not much is known about the material culture and economy of the Early Iron Age, and the paucity of finds from this period at Maiden Castle makes it difficult to draw conclusions about activity on the site. West Lulworth Tourism; West Lulworth Hotels; West Lulworth Bed and Breakfast; West Lulworth Vacation Rentals; West Lulworth Vacation Packages; Flights to West Lulworth The highest point is the neighbouring Hog Hill, which is only 1 m (3.3 ft) higher. [74][75] John Cowper Powys wrote a novel titled Maiden Castle in 1936, which was set in Dorset. An archaeologist has been accused of ´inventing´ an AD 43 battle after digging up skeletons of an ancient Britonic tribe. During World War Two these were given massive concrete covers, similar in design to those that survive at Fort Opau. 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. Q & a ” community to ask for help round barrow expansion was not produced at Maiden Castle expanded,! Ad 44 a shaft dug into the side of the first millennium BC … there extensive. Sy682911 ) is the highest hill fort in Dorset most impressive Iron Age community of... Least nine roundhouses John Cowper Powys still see evidence of it being reworked to. Its huge multiple ramparts significant landmarks browsing if you 're happy with this, or you! 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