Maiden Castle, Winterbourne Monkton, Dorchester, Dorset
How they built a fort the size of 50 football pitches in Iron Age times is staggering, especially when you take into account the multiple ramparts cut into the chalk. Maiden Castle is one of the biggest Iron Age hill forts in Europe and it would have been home to thousands of people, some of whom died a brutal death as is evidenced by skeletal finds with horrific injuries.
It’s an interesting place, excavations have revealed a Neolithic enclosure dating back to around 3500 BC, and a Roman temple built in the 4th century AD. Despite what may have gone on here there’s no sense of eeriness, nor an unsettled feeling; in fact it feels very peaceful and the views across the Dorset landscape are incredible.
You can visit Maiden Castle anytime you like, though it’s sensible not to go in the dark of course. It’s just outside of Dorchester and local people walk their dogs there; there’s a car park but the ramparts make things difficult for wheelchair users and buggies.
All information correct at the time of writing