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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Maiden Castle Dorset

Maiden Castle, near Dorchester in Dorset, is the UK's largest Iron Age fort and one of the largest ancient earth works in Europe.

Maiden Castle Dorset

The original hill fort dates from 600BC and covers an area equivalent to around 50 soccer pitches. The fort was built over what was once a Neolithic settlement dating from at least 4,000 years BC.

Maiden Castle Dorset

In 43 AD the fort was either abandoned by its inhabitants in response to the coming of the Roman Legions or less likely besieged and overrun by the invading Roman army. A small Romano-British temple was built on the site during the Roman period, when Dorchester was known as Durnovaria.

An early 20th century novel by John Cowper Powys Maiden Castle set in Dorchester, is a forgotten classic, chronicling the spiritual and historical power of the ancient fortress over the lives of its characters.

Maiden Castle is 2km south west of the city of Dorchester.

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