Maiden Castle (Dorset)
Maiden Castle was built in about 600 BC; the early phase was a simple and similar to many other hill forts in Britain and covering 6.4 hectares (16 acres).
Around 450 BC it underwent major expansion, during which the enclosed area was nearly tripled in size to 19 ha (47 acres), making it the largest hill fort in Britain and by some definitions the largest in Europe. At the same time, Maiden Castle’s defences were made more complex with the addition of further ramparts and ditches.
Then around 100 BC habitation at the hill fort went into decline and became focused at the eastern end of the site. It was occupied until at least the Roman period. After the Roman conquest in the 1st century AD, Maiden Castle appears to have been abandoned, although the Romans may have had a military presence on the site. In the late 4th century AD, a temple and ancillary buildings were constructed. In the 6th century AD the hill top was entirely abandoned and was used only for agriculture during the medieval period.
There is a small car park at the fort which can become busy at peak times.
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