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.