Ancient Sites in Dorset
There are so many fascinating ancient landmarks to uncover across Dorset, each holding secrets of the ages waiting to be told.
If you’ve always wanted to know about Dorchester’s Roman occupation or wondered what was so intriguing about Christchurch’s castle ruins, read on to discover more about Dorset’s captivating past.
Wonder at the relics of a time long ago
Visit any of Dorset’s towns and you will undoubtedly encounter buildings of historical significance.
The mound-top Castle ruins in Christchurch were once part of a large Norman castle that once dominated the town and are one of the few remaining instances of domestic Norman architecture in England.
In the county town of Dorchester you’ll find hidden a Roman Town House, and not just any Roman ruin – the ONLY example of a fully excavated townhouse of its kind in the country.
Take a stroll around the grounds of Sherborne Old Castle, a romantic 12th Century ruin that has withstood two civil war sieges and was coveted by Sir Walter Raleigh, who leased the castle prior to building his own mansion on neighbouring land - the Sherborne New Castle.
Climb one of the largest hill forts in Europe
Ancient Britain is evoked in all its mist-swathed, sword-happy glory at Maiden Castle near Dorchester.
This spectacular hillfort is the size of 50 football pitches and its huge multiple ramparts once protected hundreds of residents. A visit to this impressive ‘castle’ will thrill anyone with a taste for history.
And, if you enjoyed Maiden Castle, there are plenty more Iron Age hillforts to explore in Dorset including Hambledon Hill, Eggardon Hillfort and Badbury Rings.
Be enchanted by Rural Dorset’s treasures
Rural Dorset has many places of interest to discover and the Minster Church of St Cuthburga in Wimborne is full of surprises. This gracious edifice contains a remarkable collection, including an amazing Astronomical Clock, the unique Chained Library (founded in 1686) and other intriguing artefacts including the ‘man in the wall’.
Deep in the rural Dorset countryside lies Knowlton Church and Rings, a 12th century church ruin situated at the centre of a Neolithic ritual henge earthwork. The unusual pairing of the henge and the church symbolises the transition from pagan to Christian worship and it is said that the site is a hotspot for paranormal activity.
Wanting to stay the night?
If you’re looking to book a bed you will find a good selection of places to stay here on this very website.
Boutique hotels, welcoming B&Bs and even swanky treehouses - we have it all in Dorset!
Click the links below to easily book your accommodation online now: