Badbury Rings is an Iron Age hill fort constructed from earth and chalk ditches and banks forming three rings. It is located just to the south west of Wimborne. The rings sit one hundred metres above sea level and provide sweeping views across Dorset.
Badbury Rings in history
Badbury Rings has a long history of occupation and settlement associated with it. The Durotriges occupied the site in pre-Roman times. A Roman temple was located immediately west of the fort, and there was a Romano-British town known as Vindocladia a short distance to the south-west.
Rich in history, flora and fauna, the rings also hold the secrets of past civilisations.
Badbury Rings today
The National Trust acquired Badbury Rings as part of the Bankes Estate gift to the Trust in 1982. Nearby Kingston Lacey as well as Corfe Castle near Wareham were part of this gift.
Since then, the National Trust has undertaken a programme of careful management of the grassland downland surrounding and covering the rings. This has preserved the rings and enabled wildlife and plant life to flourish.
A number of orchids have established themselves on the banks and nearby. These include the Greater Butterfly orchid and the Bee orchid The circular arrangement of the banks means that at least two areas on each bank share the same optimum slope and orientation. These spots will be located on either side of the fort. Therefore, species found in one location on the rings can generally also be found in the mirrored location on the other side too. So two chances to see these wonderful flowers in April to July
Today Badbury Rings remains a favourite spot for nature lovers and walkers. Dogs on leads are welcome too. There is a spacious National Trust car park there as well.
Badbury Rings holds interest for visitors all through the year. A display of poppies in the nearby fields in early summer and then autumn colour from the beech drive.