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 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