Badbury Rings is an Iron Age hill fort in east Dorset, England. It was in the territory of the Durotriges. In the Roman era a temple was located immediately west of the fort, and there was a Romano-British town known as Vindocladia a short distance to the south-west.
Badbury Rings sits 327 feet (100 m) above sea level. There are two main phases of construction; the first covered 7.3 hectares (18 acres) and was defended by multiple ditches, while the second was more than twice the size, covering 16.6 ha (41 acres) and defended by a single ditch and rampart. Bronze Age round barrows in the vicinity demonstrate an earlier use of the area.
The ditches and ramparts at the entrance of Badbury Rings
Until 1983 Badbury Rings was privately owned as part of the Kingston Lacy estate, and the owners discouraged investigation of the site. The site now belongs to the National Trust. A survey of the hillfort by the RCHME was begun in 1993. The summit area was cleared of undergrowth by the National Trust in 1997 and the conifer plantation was thinned out. This allowed the RCHME to complete the survey in 1998, which recorded 28 potential hut sites within the ramparts, although some depressions are probably caused by uprooted trees. The first excavations, led by Martin Papworth, took place in 2004, when three evaluation trenches were dug. Almost all of the pottery found was dated to the Late Iron Age. The current evidence does not suggest that the hillfort was a principal settlement in the Early Iron Age. It seems likely that the hillfort became depopulated towards the end of the Late Iron Age, perhaps as the Vindocladia settlement near Shapwick developed.
Badbury Rings is the fifth in a series of Iron Age earthworks, starting from Hambledon Hill, and also including Hod Hill, Spetisbury Rings, Buzbury Rings, Badbury Rings and Dudsbury Camp. The Iron Age port at Hengistbury Head forms a final Iron Age monument in this small chain of sites.
- : United Kingdom