Ancient Wessex News and Information
Ancient Wessex News and Information

Hambledon Hill Iron Age Hill Fort

Hambledon Hill at Child Okeford, Dorset, is one of the best preserved prehistoric Iron Age hill forts in the UK, covering about 52 acres.

Rising to 190 metres above the Blackmore Vale and the river Stour, it is a Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI) and a National Nature Reserve and owned by the National Trust, after being purchased for £450,000.

Its earliest occupation was belived to be in the Neolithic when a pair of causewayed enclosures were excavated at the top of the hill, one smaller than the other. They were linked by a bank and ditch running north west- south east. Two long barrows, one 68 m (223 ft) in length, also stood within the complex and a third enclosure is now known to underlie later earthworks. In all, the area of activity covered more than 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi).

There are 250 to 300 surviving long barrows in England with the majority in Wessex.

Hambledon Hill © National Trust/Ross Hoddinott
Hambledon Hill © National Trust/Ross Hoddinott