Tarrant Keyneston is a village and civil parish in the English county of Dorset, situated in the Tarrant Valley southeast of Blandford Forum in the North Dorset administrative district. In the 2011 census the parish had 152 dwellings, 145 households and a population of 310.
On the hills northwest of the village are the earthworks of Buzbury Rings (or Busbury Rings), the remains of an Iron Age fortified encampment, described by Sir Frederick Treves in 1905 as "a circle of entrenchments, composed of a stout vallum and a ditch". At the same time Treves described Tarrant Keyneston itself as an "untidy hamlet".
The village's parish church has a 15th-century tower, though the rest of the building is of later construction. The chancel of the earlier building contained an anchorite's cell. Richard Poore is most likely to have been buried here in accordance with his wishes.
A sketchmap of the rural district can be viewed at Blandford Rural District.
The River Tarrant
The River Tarrant is a 12 km long tributary of the River Stour in Dorset. The valley lies to the east of Blandford Forum and runs through Cranborne Chase, an area of chalk downland. The eight Tarrant Valley villages and parishes all bear the name of the river. All were in the Blandford Registration District and the Blandford Rural District and are now in the administrative district of North Dorset. Listed in order from the river's source they are:
There were three other Tarrant communities;
Churches also existed once at Tarrant Launceston (the site is on Higher Dairy Farm), and Tarrant Rawston (which still exists but in private ownership). In the Middle Ages there was a Church at Tarrant Stubhampton. The Church at Tarrant Crawford is looked after by the Redundant Churches Commission, and the Parish is united with Tarrant Keyneston.
Dorset Research Tips
One of the many maps available on the website A Vision of Britain through Time is one from the Ordnance Survey Series of 1900 illustrating the parish boundaries of Dorset at the turn of the 20th century. This map blows up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. The internal boundaries on this map are the rural districts which are indicated in the "See Also" box for the place concerned (unless it is an urban parish).
The following websites have pages explaining their provisions in WeRelate's Repository Section. Some provide free online databases. Some are linked to Ancestry.