Maiden Castle -v- Poundsbury

Maiden Castle is a fantastically huge iron age hillfort that overlooks the edge of Dorchester, commanding the countryside around it. It must have been incredibly impressive just before the Romans came along. Poundsbury is a new eco-town on the edge of Dorchester, described as Prince Charles’ model village. We visited both today.

Before the days tourism truly began, I took off on a walk along the cliffs, hoping to reach West Bay but only managing to get to the trailer park in the inlet. These people are sleeping below sea level with only a wall of shingle to protect them. Are they insane? Possibly.

Group of students head for the cliffs along part of the Jurassic Coast, Dorset

I saw a group of geologists, happily donning hardhats to protect them from the massive boulders and cliff edges that were likely to squash them should they fall. Isn’t it amazing how these little pieces of reinforced plastic can protect us from nature.

Parked at Maiden Castle, looking out at the rain spattered countryside we decided to return to Dorchester and maybe check out the eateries in Poundsbury. I should stress that these eateries are proclaimed in the guide book we have. We only found one, which was full. We also found a corner shop called The Corner Shop but it hadn’t actually opened for business yet. We found a fair few real estate agents.

Poundsbury is an interesting concept. It’s very much like the garden cities of the 1930s but with a wider mix of styles. 20 architects worked on the building designs and it shows. Though it all looks vaguely Georgian and a few of the bending crescents do remind one of Bath to some extent. A lack of trees means it all looks a bit movie set-ish and sterile. I didn’t mind it, Mirinda not so keen.

We had to once again go to Dorchester for a meal. We went to an old almshouse which now serves cheap food to unsuspecting tourists. The beer wasn’t very good. I managed to buy a decent coffee at Starbucks across the road, though, so all was not lost.

Eventually, we returned to Maiden Castle and the sun decided to join us. What an absolutely amazing place. Mirinda actually walked the perimeter which is quite a long way. The only reference to the size of the castle I can find online is that it is the size of 50 football pitches. This is pretty useless. I’d prefer acreage. Anyway, it’s a long way round.

Part of Maiden Castle, Dorset

Along the side that faces Dorchester, there’s a public footpath which goes straight across one of the ditches. There’s (obviously) steps either side. That’s what the photo is of.

Naturally I scrambled all over the place, from the western to the eastern end and around to the Roman Temple site. There were lots of dog walkers and sheep. Nice to see the place is well used.

It’s very easy to imagine the place thriving with life and industry pre-Roman conquest. It’s also easy to imagine the former rulers sitting in their Roman town houses in Dorchester looking across the A35 and chortling about the high winds and awful weather. The place doesn’t have the homely feel of a town!

The children on Supernanny can’t possibly be real. Who the hell brings up children to act up on television on command? Sickos. Just smack them!!! And WHY the hell can’t Supernanny speak properly? ‘Thing’ NOT ‘fink’! God!

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