Get Involved

We welcome new and exciting possibilities for projects that members have put forward.  The  projects below have not yet been started.  If you wish to become involved in any of these, in any capacity either to participate or to lead,  then speak to the current Chair, any committee member or use the Contact Us form on this site.

This is a list of just some of the projects which could be undertaken on the history of Cerne and the surrounding area. To be clear, these are equally applicable to other villages in the valley such as Godmanstone, Minterne Magna, Minterne Parva, Up Cerne and Nether Cerne.  It is for this reason that the Society was named ‘Cerne’ Historical Society and not ‘Cerne Abbas’.  It is by no means a comprehensive list but all the ideas came from members. Let us know if you have any more.  It is the Committee’s aim to get members actively involved.


Produce a record of all grade 1 and grade 2 listed buildings, monuments and artefacts.

Photograph village street scenes and compare with a historical view of the same scene – ‘Then and Now.’  These could be featured on the website.

Living History

Interview village people and families

There are many people whose memories still need to be recorded, either on DVD, audio or as a magazine type interview.


All the milestones in the valley need to be identified, logged, cleaned where appropriate and photographed.

Milestones are in danger of loss due to damage from roadside hedge trimming and flailing equipment and from weathering.


The Society has a reputation for valued and learned research publications

Produce a booklet on village history along the lines of the display under the Church tower.

Re-print ‘Lest We Forget’ booklet about names from World War 1 on the village war memorial.

Produce a leaflet about the Cerne Historical Society – what it is and what it does.


The basis of much of our research

We have an interesting collection of maps including those from the Ordnance Survey and have access to several online sources which could lead to projects looking at for example, changes in land use.


Dorset emerged relatively unscathed from the world wars but there is still evidence.

Bomb damage in Cerne and locations of local impact sites

Air raid shelters.

Personal memories.

Personal stories behind the names on the village war memorial from World War 2.


Hill routes, riverside paths, stiles and fords have been ways of Dorset life for centuries.

Origins of, and changes to rights-of-way and other footpaths over time.

History of turnpike trusts that came to the village.


Early memories of former pupils.

History of school buildings and sites

Trades and Industry

Leather working and tanning. Buildings, stories.

Brewing. Map of locations of all the pubs.

Water in the Cerne Valley

Mill workings, hatches and sluices, wells and pumps, the River Silley, the water meadows, sewers, flood relief.

The history of flooding


What happened to the farms that were working at the beginning of the C20th?

Record memories of people who worked on the land who are still alive in the nearby villages.

Dorset Historic Towns Project

Recommendations for further research in Cerne Abbas

The origin and form of Cerne Abbey.

The origins and form of the late Saxon and early medieval town.

The medieval and post-medieval development of the town, its economy, industry and secular buildings.