- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Tarrant Launceston is a small village and civil parish in north Dorset, England, situated in the Tarrant Valley northeast of Blandford Forum. The parish includes part of Blandford Camp to the west and a few buildings on the northern edge of neighbouring Tarrant Monkton to the south. In the 2011 census the parish had 156 households and a population of 498.
A sketchmap of the rural district can be viewed at Blandford Rural District.
NOTE: Online Parish Clerks include Tarrant Launceston data under Tarrant Monkton.
The River Tarrant
- the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia
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:
- Tarrant Gunville: the source of the river is in the grounds of Gunville House, now demolished
- Tarrant Hinton: a village at a crossroads, with a parish church
- Tarrant Launceston: a hamlet with a 3-arched 17th-century bridge.
- Tarrant Monkton: a village with a parish church
- Tarrant Rawston: a very small settlement
- Tarrant Rushton: a village with a parish church. Near here was a World War II RAF airfield.
- Tarrant Keyneston: this is the largest village of the eight; has a parish church
- Tarrant Crawford: the final settlement, lies at the confluence of the rivers Tarrant and Stour. Here there is the church of St Mary the Virgin and Tarrant Abbey farm, where once stood a nunnery. There is also a vineyard here.
There were three other Tarrant communities;
- Tarrant Stubhampton: north of Tarrant Gunville and part of that parish: This is now known as Stubhampton.
- Tarrant Antioch: which may have been an earlier name for Tarrant Rawston, or may have been a distinct community just north of Tarrant Rawston. Tarrant Antioch was served by St Mary Tarrant Crawford, where there was a devotion to St Margaret of Antioch.
- Tarrant Preston: This was a hamlet and still exists marked by Preston Farm in Tarrant Keyneston parish.
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.
A Roman road followed the valley and there are many tumuli on the hills on both sides of the river, evidence of long occupation.
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.
- GENUKI makes a great many suggestions as to other websites with worthwhile information about Dorset, but it has left the 19th century descriptions of each of the ecclesiastical parishes to UK Genealogy Archives.
- FamilySearch Wiki provides a similar information service to GENUKI which may be more up-to-date, but UK Genealogy Archives may prove more helpful.
- A Vision of Britain through Time has
- organization charts of the hierarchies of parishes within hundreds, registration districts and rural and urban districts up to 1974
- excerpts from gazetteers of the late 19th century outlining individual towns and parishes
- reviews of population through the time period 1800-1960
- More local sources can often be found by referring to "What Links Here" in the column on the left.