History of Dorchester

Dorchester's roots stem back to prehistoric times. The earliest settlements were around Maiden Castle, a large Iron Age hill fort that was one of the most powerful settlements in pre-Roman Britain. Different tribes lived there from 4000 BC. The Durotriges were likely to have been there when the Romans arrived in Britain in 43 AD.

The Romans defeated the local tribes by 70 AD. After possibly being converted from a garrison to a town, the Romans named the settlement Durnovaria, a Brythonic name incorporating durn, "fist", perhaps meaning 'place