Dorset’s Archaeology in 150 Words #3: Maiden Castle’s Romano British Temple

Nearly 200 years after the hillfort of Maiden Castle (near Dorchester) had been abandoned, in the Late 4th Century, a Romano-British temple was built at its eastern end. The remote location, high up on the hill a little under 2 miles south west of the town of Dorchester, is common for monuments of this type. The remainder of the walls provides a clear outline for the building’s ground floor plan.

MC RB Temple East

The temple consisted of a 6m square central room, surrounded by a 3m passageway and possibly a portico open to the weather. A suspected two-roomed priest’s house adjoins the temple. A nearby circular building may have been a shrine.

Many finds were excavated, including coins and statues, some of which were imported from the Mediterranean. Offerings were brought to the temple possibly to present to a deity, suggested to be the goddess Minervra, whose depiction was found at a bronze plaque on the site.

maiden castle

rb temple impression

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