News

Home of Hillforts and Henges

June 22, 2022

Home of the Hillforts and Henges

Home of Hillforts and Henges is an exciting new event from 21st to 31st July that will celebrate Dorchester’s neolithic and iron age landscape, rich in earthworks and the people that have lived here for over 6,000 years.

The event is part of the National CBA Festival of Archaeology 2022 and activities will take place at multiple locations across the town. It will launch at Dorset Museum with a special open evening and a talk on the Ridgeway Vikings. An action-packed programme will include a series of lectures at Dorset Museum and a new archaeological dig at National Trust’s Max Gate with Meet the Archaeologist sessions. There will be guided walks over the landscape (including Maiden Castle), antiquities handling and family crafts at Dorset Museum at weekends.

The event concludes with an epic day of discovery and fun at Maumbury Rings with Hengefest on Sunday, 31st July where there will be animal handling, bushcraft, storytelling, nature crafts, music, performers and other activities that celebrate the sacred history of the space and its vibrant history.

The open countryside around Dorchester contains many ancient scheduled monuments and falls within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (DAONB).  As well as demonstrating pride in our ancient heritage, Home of Hillforts & Henges aims to promote wellbeing and good mental health through appreciation and enjoyment of local nature.

Dorchester Town Council Tourism Development Officer, Matilda Manley, said: “Dorchester is a very special place, not many towns can boast two iron age hillforts and three neolithic henges! These are fantastic features of our town that we should be celebrating, and it is great that we are now doing that. Maiden Castle is one of the biggest hillforts in Europe! Maumbury Rings has such an amazing history, starting as a sacred henge and then being adopted by Romans for use as an amphitheatre. It is a great space that is still used and loved. It is brilliant to be celebrating its history and importance to the town today”

With grateful thanks to our headline sponsors, Kingston Maurward and Dorchester Town Council.

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