- See & Do: For Couples
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- See & Do: Free to Visit
- See & Do: Natural Dorchester
- See & Do: Places to Visit Nearby
Maiden Castle, just two miles south of Dorchester town centre, is the largest Iron Age hill fort in Britain and, by some definitions, the largest in Europe.
Maiden Castle is one of several ancient hill forts in the area, although many are either too small to be clearly seen or have been destroyed over time. These fortified hill-top settlements were constructed across Britain during the Iron Age period and the impressive example at Maiden Castle encompasses a massive 47 acres of imposing earthworks.
It’s probable that the name derives from the British Celtic mai-dun, meaning a “great hill”, with perhaps Castle added later to emphasise that the hill fort looks impregnable. Located just off the A345, visiting Maiden Castle is easy – there is plenty of free parking a short walk from the fort. This site of rich history really is essential viewing for any visitor to the area.
Maiden Castle is open, all year round, for public visiting and entry is free. There is a car park at the bottom of the site and once at Maiden Castle you can enjoy panoramic views of Dorchester, Poundbury, and the surrounding countryside.
Download the Echoscape sound piece from the Maiden Castle website for an immersive audio experience to enjoy on your visit.