Winterborne Monkton, Dorchester
Maiden Castle is the largest and most complex Iron Age hillfort in Britain. Its vast multiple ramparts enclose an area the size of 50 football pitches, and the site was home to several hundred people during the Iron Age. It's origins is even older dating back to Neolithic times some 6,000 years ago.
The scale of this site is truly awesome, the like I have never seen before and is best viewed from the air such is its size.
~ History ~
600 BC ~ The naturally defendable hill is inhabitated as a permanent hill fort, with ditches and ramparts built.
450 BC ~ The existing simple hill fort is greatly enlarged to include three new massive ditches topped with timber palisades and its entrance strengthened with a new fortified timber gate.
43 AD ~ The Roman Empire's expansion has stretched to include southern England. The Durotriges tribe defend their fort against the Roman legions led by Vespasian. The battle is a bloody one but finally the more disciplined and better equiped Roman forces are victorious. The Durotrige tribe are massacred.
300's ~ A Roman temple is built at Maiden Castle. The fort is abandoned shortly after its completion.
600's ~ Early Saxon occupation secures the fort to consolidate their grip over the native inhabitants. Once secured they too abandon the fort in favour of nearby Durnovaria (Dorchester).