This article could have been called ‘A Tale of 2 Junctions, and a half’ as it’s really a companion piece to my earlier blog on the M3.
When the first stage of the M3 Motorway was built, Junctions 7 and 8 arrived, changing the function and access to the existing routes The A30 and the A33. I looked at Dummer, North Waltham and Popham, villages effected along the A30.
Dummer, in Hampshire, U.K. has several roads serving it, most going under or over the motorway now. There is one road that now comes to an abrupt halt at the M3 motorway.
When the motorway arrived a new road was built, close The Sun Inn, which went underneath the motorway.
What the new map doesn’t show so clearly is the lane carrying on across the A30. It took a couple of passing glances to realise this was an original route to Dummer, which the old maps confirmed.
So I undertook this photo essay to try to follow the route where I could. Starting from the crossroads at The A30, the lane comes from North Waltham and was called ‘Maidenthorne Lane’.
At the juction is the Tower Hill Guest house, (which looks quite spacious and set back). Looking at the maps, the name relates to Tower Hill Farm over in Dummer.
There are a couple more properties on the left hand side, and though the original course comes to end, a new track winds round to the side.
After this point I couldn’t see any more properties marked on old maps, until Dummer. This may have been a deciding factor in it being decided to close it off, and a new road built to navigate the motorway. The M3 was opened in 1971.
The missing route to Dummer
We need to go a visit the other end of the lane to see where it came out into Dummer…
On Google Maps, through a field now farmed, there looks like maybe faint markings where the original lane travelled. It’s been less than 50 years since a road was here!
Above You can see the lane snaking from North Waltham in the distance. The junction by the guest house is in the dip, and the motorway is obscured from view. I think where I’m standing would have been on it’s course.
As I’m at Dummer, it’ll be rude no to visit. On the left there is a newish sign for ‘Tower Hill’. I guess these cottages use this in their address (and not ‘Up Lane’ which the new road is called). This in my mind helps joins up the two ends of the lane nicely, but I can’t confirm it yet.
If anyone from Dummer or has connections has any information, I’d love to hear more. What did the missing lane look like? If anyone has evidence of the lost part from memory or even a photo where the lane is now lost, that would be great to see!
I also would like to know more why the Farm was called ‘Tower Hill’ if anyone can shed some light the local history?