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The history of Badbury Rings

Visitors walking along the remains of the ramparts and ditches of the iron age hill fort at Badbury Rings, Dorset
Visitors walking along the remains of the iron age hill fort at Badbury Rings | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Badbury Rings has a history stretching back thousands of years to when Iron Age tribes settled here. Discover the remnants of a Celtic hillfort, overlaid with Roman roads.

Badbury Rings Iron Age hillfort

There's evidence of life at Badbury Rings dating back to the Bronze Age, more than 3,000 years ago. However, the site is best known as being an Iron Age hillfort.

Who lived here?

All that remains of the fort are three ‘rings’ that would have helped defend its residents, and the innermost ring is thought to date from around 500-600BC.

Different tribes lived within the protected hillfort, including a Celtic tribe called the Durotriges, who lived in parts of South West England before the Romans arrived in 43AD.

High Wood at Badbury Rings

Close to Badbury Rings is High Wood, another Iron Age site. Archaeologists found the head of a Palaeolithic flint tool here, which is estimated to be between 12,000 and 40,000 years old.

It’s the oldest recorded object in the collection of Kingston Lacy, the nearby country house and National Trust site.

National Trust archaeology blog

The National Trust's archaeology team in the south west has its own blog. Search for 'Badbury Rings' to find out more about more than a decade of discoveries at this site, as well as other places on the Kingston Lacy estate.