AN ICONIC Dorset landmark will feature in a new series of postage stamps celebrating the nation's prehistoric sites.

Royal Mail has today announced the release of eight stamps featuring some of the most inspiring objects and atmospheric sites of British prehistory.

Included in the set is Dorset's very own Maiden Castle.

Royal Mail says the stamps explore how people lived in prehistoric times and depict famous iconic sites as well as some of the most exceptional artefacts from around the UK.

Illustrated by London-based artist Rebecca Strickland, the stamps have been designed as overlay illustrations, detailing how people lived and worked at these sites and used the objects.

The stamps are designed to present a timeline of prehistory, from a glimpse of ancient ritual of 11,000 years ago, to the Iron Age of around 300 BC.

They indicate a huge degree of organisation in ambitious building projects, and sophistication in exquisite metal working.

For each of the stamps, Royal Mail will provide a special postmark on all mail posted in a postbox close to where the site is located or the artefact found.

This will run for five days from today until Saturday, January 21.

To obtain the special handstamp, customers in Dorchester should post at the postbox at the end of Gladiator Green, where it meets Celtic Crescent.

Philip Parker, stamp strategy manager at Royal Mail, said; “The UK has an incredibly rich heritage of prehistoric sites and exceptional artefacts.

"These new stamps explore some of these treasures and give us a glimpse of everyday life in prehistoric Britain, from the culture of ancient ritual and music making to sophisticated metalworking and the building of huge hill forts."

Maiden Castle, an Iron Age hillfort just outside Dorchester, dates back to around 400BC and is the largest of its type in Britain.

The historic information produced by the Royal Mail states: "Three concentric ramparts follow the contours of the hill.

"Entrances at either end have strengthened defences with outworks and staggered gateways.

"Timber gate-towers and palisades along the top of the ramparts provided extra security.

"The depth and complexity of the defences was an impressive display of strength at a time when sling warfare was common.

"Numerous round houses and associated storage facilities lay inside."

The stamps are available from today at 7,000 Post Office branches across the UK and online at