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Maiden Castle, Dorchester

Categories: Ruins, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web
Maiden Castle is an Iron Age hill fort south west of Dorchester, in the English county of Dorset. Hill forts were fortified hill-top settlements constructed across Britain during the Iron Age. The name Maiden Castle may be a modern construction meaning that the hill fort looks impregnable, or it could derive from the British Celtic mai-dun, meaning a "great hill."The earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the site consists of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure and bank barrow. In about 1800 BC, during the Bronze Age, the site was used for growing crops before being abandoned. Maiden Castle itself was built in about 600 BC; the early phase was a simple and unremarkable site, similar to many other hill forts in Britain and covering. Around 450 BC it underwent major expansion, during which the enclosed area was nearly tripled in size to 19ha, making it the largest hill fort in Britain and by some definitions the largest in Europe. At the same time, Maiden Castle's defences were made more complex with the addition of further ramparts and ditches. Around 100 BC habitation at the hill fort went into decline and became focused at the eastern end of the site. It was occupied until at least the Roman period, by which time it was in the territory of the Durotriges, a Celtic tribe.
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  • A lovely walk with fabulous views but you'll need sensible walking shoes and make sure you use the loo before you go as this is a good/long walk in proper, open countryside. 
  • If you consider how long ago this place was built it just blows you away. The sheer size is awesome. Fantastic place for walking and 'absorbing' history. 
  • This hillfort is absolutely huge! We took the dogs on leads with us and there are peaks and troughs of varying depth and size so you will need proper footwear to negotiate the winding paths. The air a...  read more »
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