An enormous iron age fort comprising a man-made hill of approximately 1.5 square miles and protected by a series of giant earthworks, some over 20 feet high, found near Dorchester, Dorset, England. Although not a castle in the medieval stone building sense, it would have been an almost impregnable edifice for the native Neolithic people. The flat top area would probably have been protected by wooden stakes and would have enclosed an entire village as well as secure grazing areas for livestock.

It seems to have been built on the site of earlier defences at around 350 BC, with regular reinforcements and improvements until about 70 BC. It was the capital of the powerful local Celtic tribe, the Durotriges, but was captured during the main Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD and subsequently seems to have been abandoned. Although the Romans left no written records of the battle, archeological evidence indicates that the fight was a long, drawn-out siege with many casualties on both sides. For such a primitive people to hold out for so long against the might of the Roman legions gives some impression of how formidable a defence it was.

Maiden castle can be visited and if you're in that region of Britain I'd recommend it. When you stand there and look at the size of this place it's completely awesome and even after two millennia left untouched, you can still feel how much of an important place it once was.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.