Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle
Maiden Castle aerial photo

Maiden Castle aerial photo.

Maiden Castle is a large Iron Age fort in Britain. The site, a saddleback hill (B, in the diagram above), was occupied from Neolithic times (third millennium BC) and by 100 BC had grown to a town-sized fortress with six phases of ramparts (see above, 1–6), the earliest dating to about 500 BC. The iron arrowhead and small sickle and the bronze belt buckle (A) are objects that were made by a Wessex Iron Age people who inhabited Maiden Castle from about 100 BC until AD 70; they were known at the time as the Durotriges. These Celts also left behind them many artefacts made of iron, including rings, axes, and "currency bars" (shaped like swords) that were used for trading.


The castle was attacked by the Romans under Vespasian in AD 43 and a cemetery of the defenders has been found. The castle continued to be occupied until about AD 70, when it was replaced by the nearby Roman town of Dorchester.