Village History

The Abbey
The village of Cerne Abbas owes its existence to the establishment of the Benedictine Abbey in 987AD.
A History of the Abbey has been written by the Society and is on public display under the Abbots Porch in the grounds of the former Abbey. The Abbots Porch and other remaining traces of the Abbey are behind the large house which dominates the north end of Abbey Street. In April 2016, we were fortunate enough to have a talk by Prof David Carpenter of UEA, on the Cerne copy of the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest, which were both kept at the Abbey. A summary of his lecture can be found here

The Village
The Society has also written a
history of the village of Cerne Abbas and its most iconic symbol, the Giant. This is on public display in St Mary’s Church.

The Church
The history of St Mary’s Church runs as a seamless thread through the histories of the Abbey and the village of Cerne Abbas.

A  history of the church
has been written by the Society and is on public display in the church.

Dorset Historic Towns Project
Dorset County Council as it was, in partnership with the old West Dorset District Council and funding by English Heritage, has undertaken (in 2009) a survey of the historical, archaeological, architectural, and map evidence relating to the developmental history of Cerne Abbas.  The documents are available to download here