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Hillforts in Iron Age Britain

A 'hillfort' is the name given to a very common type of archaeological site found in Britain and other parts of western and northern Europe. Hillforts are hill tops surrounded by large walls or ramparts. Often, they also have deep ditches in front of the ramparts. Hillforts are found in different parts of Iron Age Britain: for example, southern England, the Welsh borders and southern Scotland. Hillforts at Maiden Castle, South Cadbury and Danebury can be visited today.

Many hillforts were built as fortresses. Some provided secure living space for large numbers of people, whereas others may have been empty refuges. Sometimes local communities came together for religious ceremonies and celebrations in hillforts. Archaeological excavations at hillforts such as Maiden Castle and Danebury continue to provide very important evidence for the study of Iron Age life and society.