Hambledon Hill fort in Dorset acquired by National Trust for £450,000
An Iron Age hill fort has been bought by the National Trust for £450,000.
Built more than 2,000 years ago, Hambledon Hill, near Blandford Forum in Dorset, stands at 190m (620ft) and spans the size of 50 football pitches.
The trust, which takes over management of the site, said its historical uses included communal occupation, farming, feasting, conflict and burial.
Money to buy the hill fort came from a Natural England grant and a legacy gift left to benefit Dorset countryside.
Hambledon is the first hill fort acquired by the trust in Dorset for 30 years and joins its six other sites, including Hod Hill, Lamberts Castle, Badbury Rings and Pilsdon Pen.
It had been owned for the past 30 years by conservational charity Hawthorn Trust, which was looking to sell, and managed by Natural England as a National Nature Reserve.
The National Trust said it decided to buy the site to secure its future and ensure maintenance and access for the public was maintained.
Jerry Broadway, a National Trust volunteer working on Hambledon Hill, said: "When I come here I feel like someone would when they go into St Paul's Cathedral.
"When there is no-one else around and I sit on the top of the hill looking at the view I feel very privileged. And to play a small part in looking after the hill is a good feeling."
The nationally-important chalk grassland is also home to at least five species of orchids, while 28 species of butterfly have been recorded at the site over the years.
From its summit visitors can see across three counties - Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.
Posted by moss
7th August 2014ce
Edited 7th August 2014ce