Maiden Castle Temples

Temple Or Shrine

Two Romano-British temples lie about 40 ft. apart within the defences of the Iron-Age hillfort at Maiden Castle in Dorset.

Romano-British Temple

This square “Romano-British” temple lies just north of circular Temple#1. Its portico measures 43½ feet by 41 feet, the cella 19½ feet square; all walls were an almost-uniform 2 feet thick, with plaster found on the interior wall of the cella. The temple faced east-south-east, was built sometime shortly after 367AD, and its floor and walls replastered at least three times before falling into decay during the 5th century. (Type Ib-d, or IIb-d)

Circular Temple

This roughly circular shrine, about 23 ft. in diameter, lies to the south of the square Temple#2 at the head of the main street through the hillfort. The superstructure of crude drystone walls was built wholly within the boundaries of an earlier, larger Belgic-style roundhouse which was evidently a focus of the Iron-Age town. A doorway lay on the south-east and a row of substantial post-holes in the interior aligned upon this entrance suggests that the building had a ridged roof. Many roofing-tiles were found lying upon the flagstone and slate floor of the ruined building during excavations which also uncovered 171 Roman coins, all dating from the 4th century to the early 5th. A building date around 350-60AD is suggested, continuing in use into the 5th century.

References for Maiden Castle Temples

  • Temples in Roman Britain by M.J.T. Lewis (Cambridge 1966)

Map References for Maiden Castle Temples

NGRef: SY6688 OSMap: LR194

Roman Roads near Maiden Castle Temples

NE (2) to Dvrnovaria (Dorchester, Dorset) S (3) to Jordan Hill (Dorset)

Sites near Maiden Castle Temples