Lambert's Castle

Coordinates: 50°47′14″N 2°53′42″W / 50.78713°N 2.89509°W / 50.78713; -2.89509

Lambert's Castle is an Iron Age hill fort in Dorset, England, United Kingdom.

The fort rises to a height of 256 metres (840 ft) on a broad northerly spur, with steep natural slopes on three sides, and linear ramparts across the flat southern approaches.

The site is owned by the National Trust. The is a car park accessible down a track off the B3165 east of Axminster. Coney's Castle is about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) to the south, and Pilsdon Pen about 5 km (3.1 mi) to the north-east.

It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest on account of its geology, archaeology and ecology. It was notified as an SSSI in 1981.

Geology

The site consists of sands and marls of the middle Lias with the remains of Gault and Upper Greensand capping. There are strong outflows of springs at various junctions of the upper greensand and gault.

Ecology
Plateau surface of Upper Greensand

This is a mosaic of acidic grassland, open heath, scrubland and secondary woodland and comprises:

Sheep-fescue Festuca ovina, Sweet Vernal-grass Anthoxanthum odoratum, Early Hair-grass Aira praecox, Heath-grass Danthonia decumbens and Field Wood-rush Luzula campestris. Herbs present include abundant Tormentil Potentilla erecta, Heath Milkwort Polygala serpyllifolia, Cats-ear Hypochoeris radicata, Heath Bedstraw Galium saxatile, Heather Calluna vulgaris, Bell Heather Erica cinerea, Bristle Bent Agrostis curtisii, Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus, bryophytes, lichen, Gorse Ulex europaeus, Western Gorse Ulex gallii, Bramble Rubus fruticosus, Bracken Pteridium aquilinum, Birch Betula spp., Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna, Rowan Sorbus aucuparia and Pedunculate Oak Quercus robur.

Upper Greensand/Gaul junction

A zone of acidic bog vegetation consisting of: Purple Moor-grass Molinia caerulea, Common Cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium, Sedges Carex spp. including Star Sedge Carex echinata, Green-ribbed Sedge Carex binervis and Flea Sedge Carex pulicaris; Bog Moss Sphagnum spp., Heath Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza maculata, Devils-bit Scabious Succisa pratensis, Bog Asphodel Narthecium ossifragum, Marsh Violet Viola palustris, Meadow Thistle Cirsium dissectum, Wood Horsetail Equisetum sylvaticum, Lesser Butterfly-orchid Platanthera bifolia and Pale Butterwort Pinguicula lusitanica.

Lower slopes

Unimproved, herb-dominated neutral grassland consisting of: Crested Dogstail Cynosurus cristatus, Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra, Red Fescue Festuca rubra, Yellow Oat-grass Trisetum flavescens, Quaking Grass Briza media, Spring-sedge Carex caryophyllea, Glaucous Sedge Carex flacca, Red Clover Trifolium pratense, Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare, Common Bird-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus. Less frequent species are Ladys-mantle Alchemilla vulgaris, Dyers Greenweed Genista tinctoria, Corky-fruited Water-dropwort Oenanthe pimpinelloides, Adders-tongue Ophioglossum vulgatum.

Wet areas in grassland

Soft Rush Juncus effusus, Sharp-flowered Rush Juncus acutiflorus, Oval Sedge Carex leporina, Common Yellow-sedge Carex demissa, Carnation Sedge Carex panicea, Common Marsh-bedstraw Galium palustre, Marsh Pennywort Hydrocotyle vulgaris, Ragged-Robin Lychnis flos-cuculi, Greater Birds-foot-trefoil Lotus uliginosus, Bog Pimpernel Anagallis tenella, Bristle Clubrush Isolepis setacea.

Notable Invertebrates
  • Glow-worm Lampyris noctiluca
  • Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene
  • Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Bolaria euphrosyne