over 10 years I walked past the sunken Medieval lane in the Gallery
below and had no idea it existed. It was only upon reading it
mentioned in a book that I pushed the brambles aside and lo and
lane, called Dark Lane, was part of the original medieval route
between Bere Regis and Dorchester. The village itself was isolated
until the creation of the Dorchester, Poole & Wimborne Turnpike
roads in 1841. It was isolated because the 18th century coaching
period had passed the village by. Up until 1841, the only routes
to and from neighboring towns & villages to Bere Regis were
remnants of the old Medieval lanes. Thus the lane leading out
of Shitterton had alot more use than most rural Medieval lanes!
Lane leads north west from where the tarmac of modern Shitterton
Lane heads into a field just west of Shitterton Farmhouse. It
carries on as a 10 foot deep gully with trees standing each side
at normal ground level. It is overgrown with brambles and rises
to ground level after around 300 feet where it peters into a field.
old maps the route it takes appears to skirt around the northern
base of Black Hill before heading towards Affpuddle, where it
joins up with another Medieval track running along the Piddle
Valley towards Dorchester.
on a photograph to enlarge it