Dorchester, Dorset

NGRef: SY683912
OSMap: LR194
Sitetype: IAf

Iron-Age Hillfort

Rectangular fort commanding the ford across the River Frome, and also the approach to Maiden Castle from the ?. Excavation revealed three development phases; first occupation was in the form of a middle bronze age enclosuure system, which was followed in the 4th century BC by an enclosure that partly followed the older works, with a timber-faced bank and a deep v-shaped ditch. Around 50BC, the bank was strengthened and enlarged by the addition of a limestone revetment capped with chalk blocks, and an outer dump bank with v-shaped ditch was added. Main entrance was on the E, and just outside was located a large Romano-British inhumation cemetery dating to the 4th century AD. Some foot bones found here bore traces of leprosy. The outer defences were damaged on the N and E by the building of the Roman aqueduct that carried water from the river here, 19km away to Durnovaria (Dorchester).

For further information on the cemetery see: Britannia II (1971) p.281 & plan fig.13.