Maiden Castle

Free Entry

Open any reasonable time during daylight hours


Winterborne Monkton, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 9EY

Before You Go

Maiden Castle in Dorset is one of the largest and most complex Iron Age hillforts in Europe - the size of 50 football pitches. Its huge multiple ramparts, mostly built in the 1st century BC, once protected hundreds of residents. When it was first built, the gleaming white chalk ramparts would have towered over the surrounding landscape.

Excavations here have revealed much about Maiden Castle's history, such as a Neolithic enclosure from about 3500 BC and a Roman temple built in the 4th century AD. The archaeologists also found evidence of a late Iron Age cemetery, where many of those buried had suffered horrific injuries.

Read more about Maiden Castle's history and discover Echoscape, our immersive audio experience. 

Don't Miss

Wayfaring - Inside Out Dorset 2018

Saturday 15th - Saturday 22nd September 2018

Wayfaring is a journey of exploration, inspired by the present landscape and ancient routes of the Icknield way.

Following a procession through Dorchester, an installation will develop over the week culminating in a final resolution event, where illumination, music and performance will transform the installation into a celebration.

For further information and to find out what other events are taking place nearby, visit

Procession: Saturday 15th September 2pm - 4pm starting at Dorchester Town Centre

Installation: Monday 17th September - Friday 21st September 9am - 6pm

Resolution: Saturday 22nd September 7.30pm

Before You Go

Access: The ramparts are uneven and not suitable for wheelchairs.

Parking: There is a small car park at the fort which can become busy at peak times. 

Dogs: Dogs are welcome, but please keep them on a lead as sheep graze the site.

Please be aware: English Heritage does not permit drone flying from or over sites in our care, except by contractors or partners undertaking flights for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and permissions, and are operating under controlled conditions.

The site is very exposed, with no shelter.

Plan a Great Day Out

Extend your visit to Maiden Castle by exploring some of the other sites in the area. Three miles from Maiden Castle are The Nine Stones, a small prehistoric circle of standing stones. Slightly further in the same direction is Winterbourne Poor Lot Barrows, a series of 44 Bronze Age burials south of the A35.

The nearby village of Abbotsbury is also home to St Catherine's Chapel and the remains of a Benedictine Abbey. If you are heading to the coast, why not also visit one of Henry VIII's finest coastal fortresses - Portland Castle overlooks Portland Harbour and boasts a great tearoom and stunning views out to sea.

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