National Trust buys symbolic Iron Age hill fort
The National Trust has purchased an ancient fort so that it can continue to be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Hambledon Hill in Dorset is the site of the Iron Age construction, which means it dates back more than 2,000 years.
The money to buy it came from a grant released by Natural England, but also via a legacy gift from an unknown benefactor who wanted to see the Dorset countryside benefiting after they had gone.
Hambledon Hill rises 620ft into the clouds, making it the perfect place for our Iron Age ancestors to construct a fortress to protect them against enemy attack.
In its heyday, the fort would have had huge walls or ramparts and might even have provided living space for tribes of people. The deep ditches that surrounded the fort are still visible from the air since the land has not been farmed over the centuries.
However, some Iron Age forts were the locations for religious ceremonies and celebrations rather than simply being homes – and it may be that Hambledon Hill served this purpose.
"When I come here I feel like someone would when they go into St Paul's Cathedral," National Trust volunteer Jerry Broadway told BBC News.
Indeed, many local people have reported strange sensations when walking around the hill, with some feeling a sense of foreboding and others even mentioning the sounds of what could have been an army marching.
Might this have been the spiritual echoes of the Roman armies that ended the Iron Age in Britain?
Actually, Hambledon Hill dates back even further back in history to the Neolithic times, but there is no surviving evidence in terms of buildings to show what our predecessors were doing there during that period. There are the remnants of human and animal burials and feasting though, again suggesting ceremonial importance.
Interestingly, the foot of the hill marks the intersection of several ley lines – which many people believe to have spiritual significance – and its summit corresponds with the six apex points of The Wessex Astrum, a hexagram that also includes Stonehenge, Glastonbury and Avebury, Stoneseeker.net reports.
Why not pay it a visit and then speak to one of our mediums to see if you've encountered any previous residents?