Danebury is an Iron Age hillfort in the south of England between the cities of Salisbury and Winchester. For many it is seen as the definitive hill fort, as it was extensively excavated in the 1970s and is where much archaeological understanding of hillforts comes from. Today it is a great place for a walk, being a local nature reserve and filled with a wide variety of plant and insect life.
There is very little left to see of the history of this site, just ramparts, ditches, dips and elevations, and it can be hard to believe that it played a major role in the understanding of the Iron Age. 57% of it was excavated from the 1970s and it formed the basis of all subsequent knowledge about this little understood time period.
A brief history of Danebury Hillfort
Danebury Hill is significantly higher than the rest of the surrounding landscape and would have been the ideal place for a fort, surrounded by good fertile soil for the farming communities of the time. The hillfort was first built in the 6th century BC and was occupied for over 500 years, undergoing a great many changes and alterations in that time. It started as 12 acres surrounded by a single ditch, with ramparts and various buildings being added over the years.
There is much evidence of warfare in the area, with defences being constructed to keep invaders out. Excavations showed that the east gates were burnt down at least three times over the years, and a hoard of 11,000 sling stones was found near them fo