27 TARRANT KEYNESTON
(O.S. 6 ins., ST 90 SW, ST 90 NW)
The parish, extending to 1,347 acres, lies on the N.W.
bank of the Tarrant and the N.E. bank of the Stour,
immediately N. of Tarrant Crawford. The land is
entirely Chalk, falling from an altitude of 300 ft. at
Buzbury Rings (16) in the N., to about 100 ft. at the
river in the S. The village extends along the N. side
of the Tarrant. The open fields, of which no traces
remain, were enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1814.
(1) The Parish Church of All Saints stands at the
S.W. end of the village. The walls are of coursed
rubble and flint with ashlar dressings, and the roofs
are tiled. The West Tower dates from the 15th century;
Chancel, Nave, North Vestry, Aisles and Porch were
rebuilt in 1852 to designs by T. H. Wyatt.
Architectural Description—A pseudo-14th-century N. window in the N. vestry is of three ovolo-moulded lights, the centre
light trefoil-headed, the others cinque-foiled, with curvilinear
tracery in a two-centred head; it probably is of 18th-century
origin, reset in the 19th century.
The West Tower (7¾ ft. by 8½ ft.) is of two stages, with a
chamfered plinth, weathered string-courses and an embattled
parapet with a moulded coping. In the lower stage the N.W.
and S.W. corners have diagonal buttresses of two weathered
stages. The tower arch, rendered, is two-centred and of two
chamfered orders which die into plain responds. The restored
W. window has two trefoil-headed lights under a quatrefoil in
a two-centred head with a label. Low down in the upper stage
is a S. window of one rebated round-headed light; above, each
face of the tower has a belfry window of two trefoil-headed
lights in a square-headed surround.
Fittings—Bells: four; 4th with Maria in crowned Lombardic
letters alternating with fleur-de-lis stops, 15th century; also with
incised initials W.F., R.F., 1716; others modern. Communion
Table: with moulded top rails, shaped brackets, turned legs and
plain stretchers, 17th century; top modern. Plate: include
Elizabethan silver cup with assay mark of 1570, and paten of
1831; also two pewter alms-dishes. Monument: In churchyard,
immediately S. of tower, table-tomb (Plate 19) above brickvaulted tomb chamber of the Bastard family (cf. Dorset III, 21,
monuments (10), (24)), with inscriptions of Thomas Bastard,
joiner and architect, 1731, William his son, John Barfoot, 1777,
John Bastard, mason and architect of St. Marylebone, 1778,
Mary Bastard, 1791, Mary (Bastard) Barfoot, 1804, Mary
(2) Bridge (93310455), with three elliptical arches, carrying
the road from Blandford Forum to Wimborne Minster across
the Tarrant, is partly of rubble and partly of brick, with ashlar
coping to the parapets; it probably is of c. 1800.
(3) Keyneston Lodge (92840434), of two storeys with attics,
has rendered cob walls and tiled roofs. The service range on
the E. was formerly a small independent house of c. 1700; the
main range is of the late 18th century, with early 19th-century
additions on the N. A lead rain-water head is dated 1793. The S.
front, of seven bays, has plain sashed windows regularly spaced
in the upper storey; in the lower storey the three middle bays
retain their original form, with tall sashed windows and a round-headed doorway, but the four end bays are masked by projecting
flat-roofed extensions with three-light windows. Inside, the
lower flight of the stairs was remodelled in the 19th century and
has plain balustrades; above, the original stairs have columnshaped balusters of c. 1793.
(4) Keyneston Mill (91450350), with brick walls and slate-covered roofs, dates from the mid 19th century. It was worked
as a water-powered flour mill until 1925, but now is disused.
A two-storeyed cottage and house, adjacent on the N.E., have
square-headed sashed windows. A 19th-century ashlar bridge
over the mill-leat appears to incorporate elements of earlier
(5) House (93170457), of two storeys, with brick walls and
a tiled roof, is of the late 18th or early 19th century. The S.E.
front is approximately symmetrical and of three bays, with a
central doorway and with segmental-headed sashed windows.
Unless described otherwise, the following cottages
have cob walls and thatched roofs and are of the early
(6) Cottages (93050478), two adjacent, are two-storeyed and
have recently been combined as a single dwelling; that on the W.
has a tiled roof. The E. tenement originally had a class-I plan.
Some rooms have exposed chamfered beams.
(7) Cottage (93100476), single-storeyed with attics, originally
with a class-S plan, retains an exposed chamfered beam. Extensions on the W. appear formerly to have constituted a second
dwelling, but both tenements are now combined.
(8) Cottage (93260462), of two storeys, originally with a
class-S plan, retains a stop-chamfered beam in the living room,
and a plank-and-muntin partition between the ground-floor
rooms. The stairs have a newel post with a shaped head. A
single-storeyed extension on the N.W. is perhaps of the late
(9) Cottage (93210460), single-storeyed with attics, has a
modern iron roof.
(10) Cottage (93170453), single-storeyed with attics, retains
two stop-chamfered beams and an original casement window
with a moulded timber surround. A barn, adjacent on the S.W.,
probably is contemporary with the dwelling.
(11) Cottages (93100448), two adjoining, now combined as
one dwelling, are single-storeyed with attics and retain chamfered and stop-chamfered beams, and an open fireplace with a
(12) Cottage (92900433), originally single-storeyed, has been
heightened to two storeys and has a tiled roof; it dates from the
second half of the 17th century and has a class-S plan. The
ground-floor rooms retain three original square-headed casement windows with ovolo-moulded timber surrounds. The
beams are deeply chamfered and that in the living room has
carved stops. The cross partition is original plank-and-muntin
work, and the partition dividing the western compartment into
two small rooms is probably also original.
(13) Cottage (92620413), of one storey with attics, is of the
late 18th or early 19th century.
(14) Barn (92560403), of rubble, flint and brick, with ashlar
quoins, chamfered plinths, and two-stage buttresses partly of
stone and partly of brick, appears to be mainly of the late 16th
or early 17th century. The walls incorporate earlier masonry in
the S.W. side, and have many later repairs and alterations.
(15) Barn (92590405), with weather-boarded timber walls
above brick plinths and with a thatched roof, is of the 18th
century. The roof trusses have braced tie-beams, and collar-beams with queen struts.
Roman and Prehistoric
(16) Buzbury Rings (919059), an enclosed Iron Age
and Romano-British settlement in the extreme N.W.
of the parish, lies at the head of a gully on the E. slope
of a broad N.-S. Chalk ridge, between 300 ft. and
360 ft. above sea-level (Plate 79). The remains are
much damaged by the modern road from Blandford
Forum to Wimborne Minster, which cuts across the
site from N.W.-S.E., and by numerous tracks. Part
of a golf-course occupies the N.E. third of the site, and
much of the rest has been damaged or destroyed by
ploughing. Several linear ditches or tracks run up to
or pass close by the site; some of them are integrated
with 'Celtic' fields which extend S., S.W. and E. (see
p. 118, Group (70)).
The settlement has an inner and an outer enclosure. The inner
enclosure, roughly hexagonal in shape and about 400 ft. in
diameter, covers a little under 3 acres; it is bounded by a single
bank 30 ft. wide and 4 ft. high; the N.E. part has been obliterated
by the road. Close to the road a large number of breaks in the
bank have probably been caused by later tracks, except for two
in the S.E., one or both of which may be original. Within the
enclosure, which appears to have been the main area of occupation, a number of roughly circular depressions, between 20 ft.
and 30 ft. in diameter and much mutilated by modern ploughing,
are probably hut sites; air photographs (N.M.R.) indicate
Tarrant Keyneston. (16) Buzbury Rings
The outer enclosure is kidney-shaped and covers about 10
acres. On the N. and W. it is bounded by a single bank, 20 ft.
wide and up to 3 ft. high. There now is virtually no sign of the
outer ditch, but excavation revealed that it was V-shaped, 10 ft.
wide and 5 ft. deep. An inner ditch, just visible along the W.
side, was of similar depth, but only 7 ft. wide. The S. half of the
outer enclosure is bounded by double banks with a medial ditch;
where best preserved the banks are 24 ft. wide and stand 4 ft.
above the bottom of the ditch, which is 10 ft. across. Numerous
breaks in these banks appear to be caused by later tracks. In the
S.E., immediately W. of the modern road, the double banks are
replaced by a single, more massive bank, 6 ft. high and set somewhat outside the general line of the outer banks. Three oval
depressions cut into the inner face of the single bank are possibly
hut circles. About 50 ft. to the N.W., immediately outside the
bank of the inner enclosure, three U-shaped scoops may also be
hut circles. In the S.W. quadrant of the outer enclosure the
inner bank swings back from the outer bank and curves around
on a line parallel with and 80 ft. away from the bank of the inner
Numerous objects and much occupation debris have been
found at various times, almost all in the inner enclosure. They
include Iron Age sherds and Roman pottery, mainly of the 2nd
century but also of the 3rd and 4th centuries, with large quantities
of ox and sheep bones, struck flints, and much wattle-marked
daub, presumably from huts. Excavation through the outer
enclosure bank on the W. yielded no datable material.
The earthworks and finds indicate a small rural settlement,
continuously occupied from the Iron Age to the end of the
Roman period. The form of the earthworks suggests more than
one stage of construction. (Wessex from the Air, 64–5, Pl. v;
Dorset Procs., 78 (1956), 91; Ibid. 80 (1958), 107–8; Ibid. 86
(1964), 112–14. Finds in D.C.M.)
Five Linear Ditches lie in the vicinity of Buzbury
Rings and extend into the adjacent parishes of Langton
Long Blandford, Tarrant Monkton and Tarrant Rawston. Their full extent is no longer clearly visible on
the ground, but it can be traced on air photographs
(R.A.F. CPE/UK 1893: 3067–8). Together with Buzbury Rings, 'Celtic' fields of Group (70), and later
tracks, they comprise a complex of earthworks which
recent destruction by cultivation makes difficult to
interpret satisfactorily (Map in end-pocket).
(17) Linear Earthwork, 400 yds. long, curving around the S.
and W. sides of Buzbury Rings, is almost certainly contemporary
with some phase of the settlement; it has been almost entirely
destroyed by ploughing. On the S., where it adjoined the Rings
and was best preserved, it comprised a ditch 30 ft. across and 2 ft.
deep, with widely spread banks up to 75 ft. across and no more
than 1 ft. high on either side. At the S.E. end (91930579) the
outer bank divided to form an oval enclosure 70 ft. by 55 ft.,
with a gap, not certainly an entrance, in the N. side. At the N.W.
end (91680600), where it diverges furthest from the Rings, the
earthwork meets (18), but it is not certainly contemporary
(18) Linear Dyke (921064), traceable for 1,000 yds. from the
N. side of Rawston Down, Tarrant Rawston, continues past the
N.W. corner of Buzbury Rings and along the parish boundary
between Langton Long Blandford and Tarrant Keyneston.
Where best preserved, on the golf-course, it comprises a ditch
10 ft. to 15 ft. wide and 3 ft. deep, with low banks on either side.
West of the Blandford-Wimborne road, along the edge of
Buzbury Plantation, a bank exists only on the N. side, and the
ditch has for long been occupied by a track; in this section the
dyke deviates slightly to avoid a round barrow (Langton Long
Blandford (13)). S.W. of Buzbury Plantation the line of the dyke
continues as a slightly hollowed terrace above 'Celtic' fields,
which have been almost entirely destroyed by cultivation.
(19) Linear Dyke, traceable for some 2,000 yds., extends from
Luton Down in Tarrant Monkton, on the N. (921071), to a
point 800 yds. S.W. of Buzbury Rings, in Langton Long Blandford (912055); its S. half is roughly parallel with (18). Where
best preserved, N.E. of the Blandford-Wimborne road, the
dyke consists of a ditch 25 ft. across and 3 ft. deep, flanked by low
spread banks. S.W. of Buzbury Plantation it is marked only by a
scarp on the hillside, bounded on both sides by contemporary
or later 'Celtic' fields.
(20) Linear Earthwork, some 600 yds. long, runs S.W. from
Buzbury Rings along the crest of a broad spur and obliquely
down its S. side to 91490532. It now is much ploughed, but
formerly, where best preserved, it comprised a ditch 35 ft. wide
and 2 ft. deep, with traces of low banks on either side. Near
Buzbury Rings the earthwork divides into two branches which
appear to cut (17) and which are probably due to its use as a
track. Air photographs (N.M.R., ST 9106/4, ST 9205/2) suggest
that it is contemporary with or earlier than 'Celtic' fields in the
area, but the remains are too much damaged for the relationship
to be certain.
(21) Dyke, now largely destroyed by ploughing, but formerly
of similar dimensions to (20), runs N.E. from near the N.E. side
of Buzbury Rings (92030600) into a re-entrant valley. Most of
the dyke lies in Tarrant Rawston. Air photographs indicate that
after proceeding 200 yds. the dyke divides to follow each side of
the re-entrant valley, one branch continuing N.E. for 500 yds.,
the other curving E. for some 300 yds. as a scarp, apparently
integrated with 'Celtic' fields.
Monuments (22–26), Round Barrows
Five barrows survive in the N.W. of the parish, on
the S. and S.E. of Buzbury Rings (16). There are
records of three other barrows 'on Keyneston Down',
excavated in 1846, but these almost certainly lay in
Tarrant Launceston or Tarrant Monkton, for they
appear to have been not more than 300 yds. from the
Romano-British settlement on Blandford Race Down.
One of these three barrows yielded a primary cremation
with fragments of 'a coarse urn' in a cist, and a secondary cremation of a child in a two-handled vase,
together with a piece of dark thick glass; a fragment
of samian ware found at the side of the barrow, where
the ground appeared to have been anciently disturbed,
suggests that the secondary burial was Romano-British
(C.T.D., Pt. 2, No. 6; Pt. 3, note on p. 76). A
barrow near by yielded 'fragments of British Pottery'
with ashes and charcoal, in a cist 8 ft. deep and 3 ft.
in diameter (C.T.D., Pt. 2, No. 7). The third barrow
yielded three cremations, probably primary, two cremations in upright urns, probably secondary, and one
other, probably secondary, in an inverted urn; all
were in separate cists, two of which were connected
by a circular hole (C.T.D., Pt. 2, No. 8). A further
barrow, perhaps in Tarrant Keyneston or Tarrant Rawston, was opened by J. H. Austen in 1840 and yielded
a bowl-shaped urn with two lugs pierced perpendicularly (C.T.D., Pt. 2, No. 30).
A globular urn (Calkin's type II) from a barrow on
Keyneston Down is in the Durden Collection at the
B.M. (B.A.P., ii, 401; Durden Catalogue, 18, Nos. 22,
23; Ant. J., XIII (1933), 447; Arch. J., CXIX (1962),
(22) Bowl (91510566), 500 yds. S.W. of Buzbury Rings, near
the S. end of a N.-S. Chalk ridge, lies 330 ft. above O.D.
Diam. 70 ft., ht. 3 ft.
(23) Bowl (92280525), within and near the W. side of Ashley
Wood, lies 310 ft. above O.D. Diam. 28 ft., ht. 3 ft.
(24) Bowl (92300527), 25 yds. N.E. of (23). Diam. 20 ft.,
ht. 2 ft.
(25) Bowl (92650551), N.E. of Ashley Wood on a gentle E.
slope, lies about 280 ft above O.D. Diam. 30 ft., ht. 3 ft.
(26) Bowl (92660552), immediately N.E. of (25). Diam.
20 ft., ht. 2 ft.