A substantial promontory sandwiched between Christchurch Harbour and Bournemouth Bay on the coast of central southern England that was a major trading port in later prehistoric times. Excavations by J. P. Bushe‐Fox in 1911–12, St George Gray in 1918–24, and Barry Cunliffe between 1979 and 1984 have revealed something of the complexity of the site, which is defended by a pair of substantial ramparts cutting off the headland. Between about 300 bc and ad 100 Hengistbury was the focus of cross‐channel trade between Britain and France. The headland had been occupied much earlier too, with an Upper Palaeolithic (Creswellian) open‐air settlement on the hill in the centre of the Head which, when it was occupied in about 10 500 bc, would have overlooked a big river valley where the English Channel now lies.
B. Cunliffe, 1987, Hengistbury Head, Dorset, volume 1: The prehistoric and Roman settlement 3500 bc–ad 500. Oxford. Oxford University Committee for Archaeology