Tarrant Keyneston

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 4, North. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1972.

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'Tarrant Keyneston', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 4, North, (London, 1972), pp. 101-105. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol4/pp101-105 [accessed 17 June 2024].

. "Tarrant Keyneston", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 4, North, (London, 1972) 101-105. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol4/pp101-105.

. "Tarrant Keyneston", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset, Volume 4, North, (London, 1972). 101-105. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol4/pp101-105.

In this section


(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 Barfoot, 1828.


(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 sluices.

(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.

Monuments (6–13)

Unless described otherwise, the following cottages have cob walls and thatched roofs and are of the early 18th century.

(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 18th century.

(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 stop-chamfered bressummer.

(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 many pits.

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 enclosure.

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.)

Monuments (17–21)

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 with it.

(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), 57).

(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.