True Lovers Knot public house describes itself as a traditional inn set in a picturesque Dorset valley in Tarrant Keynston. Yet, this historical hostelry is said to have gained its name from a particularly tragic tale and still to be haunted by a distressed former publican.
This publican’s son met and fell in love with the daughter of the local squire. Because the young lad was not from the gentry they decided to keep their relationship secret from her father. Unfortunately, a stable hand saw the two young lovers together and told her father. Set firmly against this friendship the squire made plans to send his daughter away from the district. Not able to face up to life without her boyfriend, the young girl decided to commit suicide and hanged herself from a tree in the village. So upset was the publican’s son of hearing of his girlfriend’s death he too hanged himself from the same tree. The Tarrant Keynston publican had, himself lost his wife at child birth and now losing his son became totally depressed. Sadly, he too hanged himself from the same tree.
In memory of this tragedy, it is said that locals renamed the pub the True Lovers Knot. This was because this Knot has three loops reflecting the three people who had so tragically died and a heart at its centre. The distressed publican is said to still haunt the True Lovers Knot at Tarrant Keynston.(Source: Blandford Forum Ghosts - Sue Burleigh & Catherine Greenway)