Badbury Rings in Dorset, England

Among the rolling green fields of Dorset, England, lies a set of terraced, ascending circles known as the Badbury Rings. The raised land isn’t the site of some strange space landing, but the product of an Iron Age hill fort, earning the status of scheduled ancient monument.

For centuries, the Badbury Rings were held on private land and withheld from archeological investigation. In 1982, the National Trust took over ownership of the estate. A decade later, The Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England began inspections of the site. They found 28 potential hut sites within the ramparts, showing signs of civilization within the rings. They also dated virtually all the unearthed pottery to the late Iron Age. It is believed that the inner most ring may date back to as early as 500 B.C.. Various tribes are said to have lived within the protected hill fort before Roman arrival. By the end of the Late Iron Age, the fort is thought to have been depopulated and speculated to have migrated to nearby towns like Vindocladia. 

By the 5th to 6th century, the fort was revived by Bokerley Dyke to keep Saxons out of Dorset. Some historians speculate that Badbury Rings may have also been the site of the Battle of Mount Badon.

The rings’ highest point still sits at 327 feet above sea level, making it a great vantage point. Today, the top layer is rounded and covered in trees. Visitors can explore the ancient monument and chalk lands that support local wildlife, from wild orchids to butterflies. 

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