For 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 behold...
This 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 neighbouring towns & villages to Bere Regis were remnants of the old Medieval lanes. Thus the lane leading out of Shitterton had a lot more use than most rural Medieval lanes!
Dark 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.
From 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.