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Dorset - England

About 11,000 photographs in the collection are of sites in Dorset and are available to publishers, researchers, enthusiasts on reasonable terms. Please look at the images on these pages - if you need a picture of a specific site, context or building, but do not see what you want, contact us.

Click on the thumbnails to view larger images.

 

The originals, slides and negatives of the collection of aerial photographs of Dorset have been donated to the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society. The digital photos and catalogue of this collection can now be consulted at the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester.

Enquiries should be made at the following address:
The Secretary, Dorset County Museum, High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1XA.
Telephone: 01305 262735 Fax: 01305 257180. Email: enquiries@dorsetcountymuseum.org

We are working with the Archaeology Group in the School of Applied Science, Bournemouth University, and Dorset County Museum on an exciting project to make this collection of Dorset aerial photographs available on the internet via a range of devices. Currently, the scope of the project is being discussed but it is hoped that once the necessary funding has been found, the outcome will be successful and the aim of the project achieved in the near future.

Location

Description




Photgrapher
   Maiden Castle

The largest and most famous hillfort in Southern England. It has massive fortifications which are best appreciated from the air, although its enormous ditches are impressive from the ground as well. Mortimer Wheeler carried out a series of excavations in the 1930s and they revealed that the earliest monument on the top was a Neolithic causewayed enclosure.
Francesca Radcliffe. FR 56/37.
 

Location

Description




Photgrapher
   Sherborne Old Castle

Built between 1107-35 by Roger Bishop of Salisbury as a fortified palace it remained almost unaltered until it was bought by Sir Walter Raleigh who converted it into a house. It was held by the Royalists during the Civil War and only capitulated to the Parlamenterians on their second attempt in 1645, led by Cromwell himself.
Francesca Radcliffe. FR 184/2.
 

Location

Description




Photgrapher
   Hambledon Hill

This magnificent Iron Age hillfort conceals traces of earlier periods. There are two Neolithic causewayed enclosures, one in the central part and a smaller one on the south-eastern spur of the hill, and a long barrow, 73m long, in the middle section . The hillfort is encircled by double ramparts and on the south-east, a double ditch was built to increase the defences.
Francesca Radcliffe. FR 115/11
 

Location

Description




Photgrapher
   Lulworth Cove and Bindon Hill

One of the most famous and well known sites on the Dorset coast, this almost circular harbour is a popular summer anchorage for small boats. The sea eroded part of the softer clays in the Portland Stone and Purbeck Marble forming the cove and the 100 m high chalk cliffs at the back. The village of West Lulworth is reached walking up the steep lane, on the left of the photo.
Francesca Radcliffe. FR 123/29
 

Location

Description




Photgrapher
   Cerne Abbas Giant

This enormous hill-figure is 55 m high and 51 m wide and unique in the British Isles. The trenches which form its outline are filled with chalk and are about 0.30m wide and 0.30 deep. When the Giant was cut is still very much a matter of speculation but more recent research tends to give it a late seventeen century date, perhaps as a caricature of Cromwell.
Francesca Radcliffe. 226/30
 

Location

Description




Photgrapher
   Hod Hillfort

This is the largest hillfort in Dorset. The ramparts of the Iron Age fort were reused by the Roman army. The Roman fort had three gates, two of which can be clearly seen in the photo. Each gate had a watchtower and there was a fourth tower in the south-east corner. Excavations of the barrack blocks revealed that a legion of 600 men and a cavalry unit of 250 were garrisoned here.
Francesca Radcliffe. FR 181/22 Source: The National Trust
 

Location

Description




Photgrapher
   Deserted Medieval Village at Bingham's Melcombe

One of two deserted villages in the parish of Melcombe Horsey. The remains, covering about 10 acres, are situated south of the church of St Andrew which can be seen to the right just above the centre of the picture. Formerly a manor and hamlet, this has long been extinguished and the hamlet depopulated. Traces of houses can be seen in the meadow south of the church.
Francesca Radcliffe. Source: RCHM, Dorset III,171-2. FR 134/27.
 

Location

Description




Photgrapher
   Eggardon Hillfort

Three massive ramparts and two ditches surround this beautifully sited Iron Age hillfort situated north of the A35 Dorchester to Bridport road. It lies a short distance west of the Dorchester to Exeter Roman road. On the south side a landslide - which occurred after the fort was built - caused much of the fortifications to slump. Photographs taken from the east.
Francesca Radcliffe. FR 20/11.
 

Location

Description




Photgrapher
   Spetisbury Rings

This single rampart Iron Age hillfort overlooking the River Stour may have been left unfinished. It has one entrance to the north-west, top. The building of the railway in 1857 destroyed the north-eastern section and revealed a mass-grave of 120 skeletons. Many of the objects of military nature found amongst them may imply they were the victims of a fight with the invading Roman army.
Francesca Radcliffe. FR 21/21.
 

Location

Description




Photgrapher
   Flowers Barrow

This early Iron Age hillfort has double and triple ramparts. The southern part has fallen into the sea, due to coastal erosion, exposing several sections of the interior of the hillfort. Fragments of Iron Age pottery, sling-stones, and bones were found in 1939 in a pit near the western entrance. Other landslides have revealed the floor of the hillfort. This view from the sea is seldom seen.
Francesca Radcliffe. FR 21/21.
 
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Images Copyright Francesca Radcliffe