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
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.
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.
This page is dedicated to the memory of the late Gordon Howell 1920-2012, a steam enthusiast all his life.
Events in Dorset (shows date of the famous Great Dorset Steam Fair, as well as lots of other events)
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Bridleway on Tarrant Hinton Down
Photograph © Maigheach-gheal
All roads lead to Tarrant Hinton for the Great Dorset Steam Fair in August.
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