St Andrew's at Kinson, which has a 12 th century tower and 14 th century chancel, lies within the Manor of Canford Magna, it is centred on the site of a Saxon church. The parish boundaries extend far beyond Kinson Village, taking in various hamlets, Cudnell (or Bear Cross), High Howe, West Howe, Howe, East Howe, and Ensbury.
The area was historically used by the smuggler Isaac Gulliver whose men would carry the contraband up from The Chines in Poole Bay and take it across Cranborne Chase to be distributed to patrons all over Southern England. Gulliver had several properties in the area; however, all of the contraband were stored in the tower of St Andrew's Church (the marks of the ropes used to haul it up can still be seen in the soft sandstone walls of the tower) and in several stone graves in the churchyard which were constructed for this purpose and never saw a coffin. A tunnel was also reputed to exist to allow smugglers to escape to the local river under cover .
In the churchyard is the grave of one Robert Trotman,One of his men who was killed in the crossfire of an ambush as he loaded tea onto horses on the sands at Poole in 1765.
His grave in Kinson churchyard bears the words of a village completely involved in the smuggling trade.And who appear to think fondly of the local smugglers!
"To the memory of Robert Trotman, who was barbarously murdered on the shore near Poole." It would seem Smugglers at the time were regarded by some as folk heroes.
Near this church is a bridge over what was once a small stream called locally Millham's Splash, a small offshoot of the River Stour. In the early years of the twentieth century this was a ford, and while travelling by carriage from Canford House to Highcliffe Castle the future Kaiser of Germany horse and carriage became stuck in the water and had to be rescued by the locals. They had cause to regret this act before very long with the outbreak of World War I.
Just as you enter the Churchyard is a Monument of an angel dedicated to Britannia Keet nee James
Very early picture of St Andrews