Heavy death duties and the economic conditions following the First World War combined to force the Pitt-Rivers family to sell at auction much of their land and property in Dorset. This sale included most of the land and houses in and around Cerne Abbas. The sale, which took place in Dorchester in September 1919, realised £67,402 for the family.
The ‘1919 Particulars of Sale’ for Cerne Abbas for Cerne Abbas have been transcribed by the Historical Society. Each of the separate plots of land and houses, sold by lots at the auction, are minutely described and also include the names of the previous tenants. Many of these lots were bought by the tenants themselves. The sale particulars are, therefore, a rich source for family historians with interests in Cerne Abbas.
The Society has produced a short history of the ownership of the ownership of the village of Cerne Abbas, from the Dissolution of the Abbey in 1539 to the 1919 Sale.
Click for an article about the Sale of the Village at Auction in 1919 which appeared in the Dorset Life Magazine in May 2012.