Abbotsbury Castle is an Iron Age hillfort in South West Dorset, situated on Wears Hill above the village of Abbotsbury, seven miles west of Dorchester and the famous hillfort at Maiden Castle.
It is situated on a high chalk hill overlooking the English Channel, and in its day was the front line of defence from invasion. The earthworks cover an area of about 10 acres (4.0 ha), of which about 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) are inside the ramparts.
The fort was occupied by the Celtic Durotriges tribe, but when the Romans invaded in AD 43, the second Augustian legion of Vespasian took the fort quickly with little struggle before moving on to Maiden Castle. There is no evidence that the Romans settled at Abbotsbury Castle as they did at some other hillforts.
From here you can see St Catherine’s Chapel in Abbotsbury – another place well worth a visit!
Rich in archaeology, hillforts allow us to step back in time and re-imagine the lives and livelihoods of our ancestors. Dorset’s hillforts give visitors extraordinary opportunities to experience nature throughout the seasons.
Download this informative guide from the National Trust to learn more about Dorset’s hillforts – history, geology and wildlife. They’re truly special places in our landscape to visit.