Stone Age to Iron Age – KQ6 – Iron Age Hill Fort at Maiden Castle

Iron Age Crimewatch AD 50.   Who killed the 52 dead bodies at Maiden Castle?  Key Question 6

KS2 pupils work as history detective Time Teams to solve the Iron Age murder mystery. They are given just the briefest of background information before being let loose on the evidence which is presented to them in a dossier to simulate a modern detective case.

This is a challenging task for Year 3 but you will be able to support the lower attainers as they interpret the sources, possibly leaving out sources 1 and 4 and introducing them at the end. Meanwhile able pupils should be working more independently.

Learning objectives

  • Pupils can use their contextual knowledge of Iron Age hill fort life to speculate as to what might have happened;
  • they can come to a conclusion as to the possible reasons for the bodies and substantiate their judgement using at least one piece of evidence;
  • more able pupils can begin to weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of each theory.


Orientate the pupils by showing them Maiden Castle in Dorset. Slide 3 gives some idea that it was a series of earthworks or ramparts. But what was found there? Slowly reveal

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