Hambledon Hill. The reason for a double entrance is unclear; however, archaeologist Niall Sharples has suggested that it was a form of segregation. 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. troops of the 2nd Augusta Legion west into Dorset. During World War Two these were given massive concrete covers, similar in design to those that survive at Fort Opau. [44] Maiden Castle was occupied throughout the Iron Age and its inhabitants lived in roundhouses. 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. 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. [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. It was occupied until at least the Roman period, by which time it was in the territory of the Durotriges, a Celtic tribe. Monumental defences such as the ditch at Maiden Castle indicate that the land was disputed and communities fought each other for control. The 6-inch battery and its fire control post occupied a high point overlooking both the channel and the approaches to the harbour entrance. 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. Hambledon Hill is one of a chain of hill forts that extended from the port at Hengistbury. Ref: 1/4-048821-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. A magazine was built semi-sunken into the side of the hill. OS map reference: SY 5302 9195. The views from the summit stretch into Somerset, Wiltshire and Devon. 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. [58], In AD 43, the Roman conquest of Britain began. [8] Radiocarbon dating indicates that the enclosure was abandoned around 3,400 BC. One area of the cemetery featured burials of 14 people who had died in violent circumstances,[57] including one body with a Roman catapult bolt in its back. Wheeler's use of the media to disseminate information about the site resulted in Maiden Castle becoming well known. Today the site is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is maintained by English Heritage. 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. Under the auspices of English Heritage, repair work and archaeological investigations were undertaken concurrently. Instead the ditches may have been symbolic, separating the interior of the enclosure and its activities from the outside. Bindon Hill Hillfort, Dorset. Through the project access, interpretation and visitor welcome has been improved and a visitor’s guide has been produced. [37] Developed hill forts were generally densely occupied; this is best demonstrated at Danebury, where 57% of the site has been excavated. [62] However, in July 2015 archaeologists from Bournemouth University discovered the remains of the Iron Age settlement of Duropolis and believe that the abandonment of the fort may be connected with the new site. Near Askerwell, Bridport, Eggardon Hill Fort has impressive 360 degree views across the county - on a clear day from there you can see right across Lyme Bay to South Devon and Start Point. Overlooking the River Stour, Hod Hill developed into a large Iron Age community consisting of over two hundred round houses. This would explain the limited human activity on the hilltop for the 500 years after the bank barrow's construction. To find out more, contact Marie McLeish, project manager: marie.mcleish@nationaltrust.org.uk, Dorsets hillforts, a visitors guide (PDF / 2.7MB) download. It's also an old smuggling spot - in the 18th century, Isaac Gulliver took advantage of the hill's commanding position and created a small plantation of trees to act as a landmark for his ships and help guide them to the coast. Maiden Castle: Hill fort - See 369 traveler reviews, 161 candid photos, and great deals for Dorchester, UK, at Tripadvisor. Go up the concrete track and park at the next gate leaving it clear for access to the reservoir and BT site. 28/11/2013. Nearby were two other buildings: a rectangular building 7.9 m × 5.5 m (26 ft × 18 ft) with two rooms that may have been a house for a priest, and a circular building that may have been a shrine. Rich in archaeology, hillforts allow us to step back in time and re-imagine the lives and livelihoods of our ancestors. An oval-shaped hill fort is the largest hill fort in Britain and also one of the most complex Iron Age hillforts in Europe. [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. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. 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