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30 Apr 2020
Cadbury Castle in Somerset, was a military stronghold for over 4000 years, the first earthen ramparts were raised in the Stone Age. During the Iron Age the fort was occupied by the Durotriges tribe (who gave their name to Dorset) and was where they made their stand against the invading Romans. They were ultimately defeated in AD 70, and the successful Roman aggressors went on to burn down the fort and surrounding village.
By AD 500 the fort was again standing tall, and was extended by Ethelred the Unready in
AD 1000, as a means of defence against the plundering Vikings. In the 16th century it was suggested that this site was indeed the stronghold of King Arthur during the 6th century and there is certainly plenty of archaeological evidence to suggest Cadbury Castle was an important fortification at that time.
Today, as you walk the earthen ramparts, the sigh of a cool northern wind eloquently speaks of the history this hill has seen and the many souls who once lived here. As you stand on the summit, alone except for the calling of crows or the rumble of distant thunder, it’s easy to become lost in the past, as Glastonbury Tor reaches out across the Somerset Levels before you and the Isle of Avalon sparkles.
‘LOCAL LEGEND TELLS OF A MIGHTY WINGED DRAGON THAT FLEW NIGHTLY OVER THE EXE VALLEY BETWEEN DOLEBURY HILL AND CADBURY CASTLE, GUARDING TWO HOARDS OF GOLD, WHILST LIGHTING THE NIGHT SKY WITH HIS FIERY BREATH.’
For more on Somerset's incredible history and heritage go to our interactive E Book.
No. 21. SOMERSET FASCINATING FACTS - STEEPED IN HISTORY AND MYTHOLOGY, THE SITE OF THE LONG-FORSAKEN CADBURY CASTLE IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF ANY VISIT TO SOUTH SOMERSET.