Thanks to Jill Arnold who runs the Arnold Family Facebook page who for reminding me of Jack Hargreaves. I used to watch his series of ‘Out of Town’ every week. Jack lived in Belchawell, just 5 miles from Milton Abbas.
His explanation for the discrepancy of the numbers of villages lost in Dorset between the central chalk uplands, the Blackmoor Vale and the heathland to the east was new to me and most fascinating. There has been much research on Deserted Medieval Villages (DMVs), including archaeology, and there are websites dedicated to the topic. It is better to watch this episode which is available on Youtube, than it is for me to summarise it. The statistics speak for themselves – 66 lost on the chalk, 6 on the vale and 7 on the heath. Thank you Jack Hargreaves for inspiring me and so many other people.