Dorset in focus

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Megaliths, Mênhirs and Stone Circles of Dorset

East Dorset
West Dorset

Mesolithic: Middle Stone Age, 8000BC to 4500BC
Neolithic: New Stone Age, 4500BC to 2200BC
Bronze Age: 2200BC to 700BC
Iron Age: 700BC to 43AD
Roman: 43AD to 410AD
Post Roman: 410AD to 1000AD
Medieval: from 1000AD

Monuments by age

Bronze Age: 14

Iron Age: 13

Neolithic: 20

Post Roman: 1

Roman: 1

Monuments by type

Barrow: 3

Barrow Cemetery: 8

Cursus: 3

Earthwork: 1

Henge: 4

Hill Figure: 1

Hill Fort: 12

Long Barrow: 4

Menhir: 3

Settlement: 3

Stone Circle: 4

Stone Row: 2

Trackway: 1

The enigmatic Cerne Abbas Giant - who was he?

Dorset has a large number of ancient monuments. The best known being Maiden Castle and the timeless Cerne Abbas Giant near Dorchester. Explore Dorset through its ancient past, there are sites throughout the county dating from the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) through the Bronze and Iron Ages to the coming of the Romans and the onset of the so-called Dark Ages.

The main concentrations of ancient monuments are found on higher ground - such as the Purbeck Hills or on the crests of the ridgeways. Overlooked by the casual visitor or tourist they offer a window on the past, their very seclusion making the stone circles and standing stones; the settlements and stone rows a place to relax and reflect on their purpose and the choice of their location.

Are they astronomical tools, to mark the changing of the seasons, or part of a 'ritual landscape' honouring their ancestors or, are they something else entirely? The ancient sites are found throughout the county. Click on your region above and explore one near you...

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