National Trust acquires 2,600-year-old Iron Age fort Hambledon Hill
Thursday 07 August 2014
One of Britain’s most important archaeological sites – a vast Iron Age hill fort at Hambledon Hill, Dorset – has been acquired by the National Trust.
It is the organisation’s most significant archaeological acquisition for more than 30 years. With £450,000 from bequests and from Natural England, the Trust has purchased the 2,600-year-old monument from a local family charitable trust which had owned it since the early 1980s.
Together with a neighbouring National Trust-owned hill fort, Hod Hill, the monuments constitute the organization’s most important archaeological complex after the Stonehenge landscape and Avebury.
It’s now planning to protect its newly-acquired Hambledon Hill site from being damaged by encroaching scrubland and other vegetation.
The vast triple-banked hill fort – one of the largest and most impressive in Britain – covers 67 acres and has four miles of grass-covered earthen ramparts.
Its defensive ditches – up to 21 metres deep – are among the most impressive in the world. Inside the hill fort, which is in reality a fortified Iron Age town, visitors can still see some 300 Iron Age hut platforms and walk along the long-abandoned prehistoric streets.
The newly acquired site includes not only the Iron Age hill fort, but also two 5,500-year-old neolithic ritual enclosures, a huge neolithic communal tomb and Bronze Age burial mounds. A full archaeological survey of the monuments will be carried out by the National Trust next year.
The site, already a national nature reserve, is also exceptionally important from a natural history perspective, and is home to nine rare orchids, at least a dozen rare and endangered butterflies, mammals and birds.
“This acquisition is extremely significant because of the site’s rare flora and fauna and because the Iron Age hill fort is among the three most important such archaeological monuments in the country. Together with the Neolithic and Bronze Age earthworks on the site, it covers 3,500 years of British prehistory,” said a National Trust spokesperson.
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 4 Amy Schumer: 'I'm 160lbs and can catch a d**k any time I want'
- 5 Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Amy Schumer: 'I'm 160lbs and can catch a d**k any time I want'
Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
Russian 'aggression' sees Poland rearm its military as minister warns: 'We must be ready'
£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...