Tarrant Hinton

Tarrant Hinton is a very small ancient village on the A354 road between Salisbury and Blandford Forum in Dorset. The population explodes for the annual Great Dorset Steam Fair in August.

Church Cottages Tarrant Hinton

Church Cottages, Tarrant Hinton
Photograph © Toby

The village is one of several small communities with a Tarrant name prefix along the seven and a half mile River Tarrant, that runs into the River Stour. As well as Tarrant Hinton, they are Tarrant Gunville, Tarrant Launceston, Tarrant Monkton, Tarrant Rawston, Tarrant Rushton, Tarrant Keyneston and Tarrant Crawford.

Tarrant Hinton's pretty church, dedicated to St. Mary, is medieval and dates from the 1200's There is a Norman font. A splendid carved Easter sepulchre of the Decorated period adorns the Church, one of two surviving examples in Dorset, the other being in Gillingham.

Excavations locally have proved that the village dates at least from the Iron Age and later became Roman. Several Iron Age burials have been found, one of a man in this thirties who had tuberculosis, the earliest known case in Britain.

A silver gilt Anglo Saxon fitting was found with a metal detector by a Mr Mitchell. The British Museum decided it might have been a plate for a small buckle.

World War I saw men of the Naval Division training in the village. From there they proceeded to Gallipoli. During WWII a Hurricane with a Polish pilot, Pilot Officer Rohacek, crashlanded in the village. It was one of four that crashed that day in the area.

Not far away is Chettle House the gardens of which are open to the public on the first Sunday of each month between Easter and September from 11 am to 5pm. It is a Queen Anne style manor designed by Thomas Archer for the Chafin family. Commissioned in 1710 it was not finished until about 1735. The gardens are said to be particularly beautiful.

decorative line

Great Dorset Steam Fair

Great Dorset Steam Fair A line of Hampshire built engines.

Great Dorset Steam Fair
A line of Hampshire built engines.
Photograph © Dr Neil Clifton

Tarrant Hinton is most famous for being the venue of the Great Dorset Steam Fair. This 5 day event attracts 200,000 people to view the largest gathering of steam traction engines in Europe. Alongside the Fair are lots of attractions including fair ground organs and variety shows.

decorative line

This page is dedicated to the memory of the late Gordon Howell 1920-2012, a steam enthusiast all his life.

decorative line

Other pages that may be of interest



Events in Dorset (shows date of the famous Great Dorset Steam Fair, as well as lots of other events)

decorative line

Return from Tarrant Hinton to Home

Or you may prefer to browse some more, please do, there are navigation buttons above on the left.


decorative line

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Bridleway on Tarrant Hinton Down

Bridleway on Tarrant Hinton Down
Photograph © Maigheach-gheal

decorative line

Useful Information

All roads lead to Tarrant Hinton for the Great Dorset Steam Fair in August.

decorative line


This is a developing map. Some areas have better coverage.

To find the nearest Electric Vehicle Charging Point please click here.

decorative line

Public Transport

Traveline is a very useful resource for public transport throughout Wessex, even local buses. In fact all over the United Kingdom.

decorative line