Danebury Iron Age hillfort is located in Hampshire, England. Situated near the village of Nether Wallop, it lies approximately 19 kilometers (12 miles) north-northeast of the city of Winchester.

The hillfort is positioned on a prominent chalk ridge known as Danebury Hill, which rises about 143 meters (469 feet) above sea level. It is considered one of the most extensively excavated and well-preserved Iron Age hillforts in the country.

Map showing the location of Danebury
Map showing the location of Danebury

The hillfort covers an area of around 6 hectares (15 acres) and is enclosed by multiple ramparts and ditches. The innermost rampart, called the main rampart, is the most substantial and was built using chalk and earthworks.

It encircles the central plateau of the hillfort, which would have housed a cluster of roundhouses and other structures during the Iron Age. The fort’s location on a hill provided strategic advantages, such as a vantage point for observing the surrounding landscape and potential defense against attackers.

Excavations conducted at Danebury Iron Age hillfort between 1969 and 1988 revealed fascinating insights into the lives of its inhabitants during the Iron Age. The findings included evidence of intense agricultural activities, such as the cultivation of cereals and the rearing of livestock.

The presence of storage pits, grain storage bins, and granaries suggests a settled and organized community. The hillfort’s location near natural resources, such as water sources and fertile land, would have facilitated the sustenance of its inhabitants.

Danebury Fort aerial image
Danebury Fort (aerial image). Credit: Hampshire Hub and University of Southampton – Hampshire Data Portal

Artifacts unearthed at Danebury provide valuable evidence of the social and cultural aspects of Iron Age life. Items such as pottery, metalwork, and personal ornaments indicate the presence of craft specialization and trade networks.

The hillfort’s defensive features, combined with its internal organization and cultural artifacts, point to a complex social structure and hierarchical society.

Today, Danebury Iron Age hillfort is a popular archaeological site and attracts visitors interested in the region’s ancient history.

The site offers walking trails and interpretation boards, allowing visitors to explore the ramparts and imagine what life was like during the Iron Age.

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