Hill Forts

Iron-Age defensive sites, or hill-forts, were invariably constructed on hill-tops, as the terrain was free from the trees and scrub growing in the valleys, and height gives greater security from attack by making the approach of any enemy more visible, and making his attack more difficult.

The general form of these settlements consisted of at least one bank and ditch which surrounded as large an area as was practicable, the bank being surmounted by a wooden palisade or a stone wall, depending on which type of material was most easily obtained in the locality. Within this defensive ring was built a normal village, with houses, barns, temples etc.

The majority of Iron-Age hill-forts now display only their banks and ditches. Any other evidence of their construction relies on the archaeologist's trowel, spade or heavy earth-moving equipment.

Maiden Castle
[Maiden Castle - Dorset]