travel. The main road from Salisbury to Blandford & Dorchester ran through Tarrant Monkton. Footbridges were built for pedestrians & that at the ford in Tarrant Monkton, known locally as "The Splash", is one of the few surviving examples. In the same area is an example of parallel routes on each side of a stream liable to flood. The existing road from Tarrants Launceston to Rushton was paralleled by one on the opposite bank through Luton Farm & Tarrant Rawston. Both of these emphasise the Tarrant's ability to flood.
The Tarrant lived up to its name of Trespasser by flooding during 2000. The brick parapet across the bottom of picture is normally more than 1 metre above the water level. Photo: Jackie Garland
An aerial view northwards over Tarrant Monkton. The Leats (water channels) originally used for irrigation are clearly seen. ( Permission of Owen Lidwell)
In 1900 the horse, bicycle & shank's pony provided virtually all transport needs. Lighting was by oil lamp or candle. Heating was by coal, coke or wood. Water came from wells. Farming was very labour intensive. The river was important to farmers for their livestock and three water mills were still in full operation. Piped water came to the valley in the mid to late 1950s. The convenience of piped water has resulted in a big increase in water usage per capita e.g. for washing machines.
A chalk aquifer is an excellent source of water so boreholes are sunk & the water piped to the users. The Tarrant Valley has a borehole site at Stubhampton & is also affected by the much bigger borehole site at Shapwick. The Stubhampton boreholes were chosen as the best place to supply the Tarrant Valley & Shaftesbury. However these boreholes are a cause of concern for the Tarrant's health.