Tarrant Keyneston

Village Heritage

River Tarrant picture

Heritage of Tarrant Keyneston Dorset

Tarrant Keyneston is one of the eight villages connected by the River Tarrant running through this undulating North Dorset valley. While it’s picturesque though, the name ‘Tarrant’ means “invasive” or “liable to flood”!

The first reference to the village is in the Domesday Book of 1086 and shown as “Tarrant Kayneston”. The second part of its name is derived from Ralph de Caineto who came over with William the Conqueror. It was known as an estate on the river Tarrant held by the Cahaignes family. The eldest son was given the Manor of Tarrant and over time the name changed through “Kaynes” to “Keines”.

He founded a nunnery and this and the mansion are thought to be situated a short distance to the west of the present church. The nunnery was the forerunner of the important Cistercian Abbey at Tarrant Crawford, founded in 1223 by Bishop Poore. Of the many lives lived in the village, those who tragically lost theirs during The Great War and World War II are remembered and marked by our simple yet elegant Tarrant Keyneston War Memorial. In 2017 it was given Grade II Listed status and added to the National List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. More can be found at: services.historicengland.org.uk