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Maiden Castle, an Iron Age hill fort in Dorset, England.
Maiden Castle is the largest hill fort in England extending 45 acres, and lies about 2 miles to the south of Dorchester town centre. The hill fort was first occupied in around 3,000 BC, and contains a complex arrangement of ramparts and ditches.
Maiden comes from the Celtic ‘Mai Dun’, meaning ‘great hill’, and this great hill can be seen today with the huge earth walls rising up to 6 metres high. In the Neolithic period a barrow some 540m long was constructed east to west across the site. Maiden Castle was a bustling town populated by the Durotriges Tribe. In AD 43, the Romans attacked the inhabitants of the town and a hard battle was fought focussed towards the eastern entrance.
In around the 4th century, a Roman temple was built, the foundations of which are still visible today in the north east sector of the fort.
-extract from the Visit Dorchester Visitor Guide 2013.