Holloway - the hollow way. A Sunken path, a deep and shady lane. A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll and rain-run have harrowed into the land. A track worn down by the traffic of old ages and the fretting of water, and in places reduced sixteen or eighteen feet beneath the level of the fields.
Two weeks ago, we made yet another flash visit to West Dorset over a too short weekend.
We found the time to go and explore an intriguing holloway that stretches between Symondsbury and North Chideock: it is called Hell Lane. And that's going to be the title of a forthcoming novel, because it's just too great a name! I have to use it!
It really is an amazing and mysterious place that sends shivers down your spine. You stop in the middle of the "gorge", look up to the trees that hide the path entirely, you look around you at the words and shapes carved into the rock... And stories start forming into your head...
I am really interested in discovering more about Hell Lane, especially how it got its name (for example, Dead Man Lane near Mapperton was called thus because it was used in the 16th century by frightened villagers to carry plague victims and bury them away from dwellings in order to prevent the spread of infection). I cannot find any information online...
I cannot wait to spend more time exploring the sunken holloways and paths of Dorset - starting with my first month-long residency in Burton Bradstock in November! I might need to invest in a pair of wellies...
A great blog about holloways in West Dorset HERE by The Dorset Rambler.
Both Robert McFarlane and The Dorset Rambler mention a novel called Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household - it is mainly set among the holloways of West Dorset.
I need to get my hands on a copy as soon as possible!
All pictures on this blog by Matt ArtPix.
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