Danebury Ring Hill Fort, Hampshire: An ancient fort whose archeology reveals a gruesome past

Danebury Ring, near Stockbridge in Hampshire, is an image of tranquility today — but that wasn't always the case, as Annunciata Elwes explains.

The fortified Iron Age town of Danebury had a turbulent history. Mass graves have been uncovered — some sacrificial —  together with scorched wood that indicates burning defences, amid its hills, moats and ridges.’

Reconstruction drawing by Karen Guffogg of Danebury Hill Fort in the Celtic / Iron age, approx. 2nd century BC.

At 469ft above sea level with commanding views, this is the highest point in the region and, in contrast to the peace enjoyed by the few Highland cattle now grazing there, it was home to a thriving farming community for some 500 years from 600 BC.

The manmade landscape has survived remarkably well and makes for fun exploration; archaeological finds are displayed at Andover’s Museum of the Iron Age.

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