Cerne Abbas Historical Society

Welcome to the Cerne Historical Society.

The Society was formed in 1988 following the Abbey Millennium celebrations in 1987. It now has over 100 members and produces a lively programme of talks and visits on a wide range of local history topics.

The Society has built up an archive of material of local historical interest, which includes over 400 photographs of Cerne Abbas and its people over the last 100 years or more. It continues to add to the archive by conducting research into various aspects of the history of the village over the centuries. Parts of this growing archive will be relevant to those researching their family connections with Cerne Abbas and are published on this website. Much of the original material is deposited in the Dorset History Centre, but the aim of the Society’s research is to give it a local historical focus, to be shared with others.

The Society is keen to add to its collection of photographs, other historical information, or even just memories, to share with all who are interested in the history of this ancient village. If you have any material of this kind that you feel would enhance our collection, please let us know. We can arrange for any original material to be copied and returned.


In the Footsteps of Treves
On Thursday 26th June at 7.30 p.m. at Cerne Abbas Village Hall we will welcome  Steve White.  Steve writes a popular series of articles for Dorset Life magazine called ‘In the Footsteps of Treves’ which follows Treves’ book ‘Highways and Byways in Dorset’ first published in 1906.

Sir Frederick Treves, was born in Dorchester in 1853, and was the surgeon who attended Joseph Merrick (the Elephant Man). He also saved the life of King Edward VII.  His is a fascinating story.  Steve White will be looking firstly at his life and connections with William Barnes and Thomas Hardy and then  at what he wrote about the locale (he covered Cerne Abbas in some detail) in his book. It will be a fascinating talk. Visitors and non-members are very welcome.

 A Guided Walk by archaeologist Chris Copson. Chris will lead a circular (hilly) walk to explore features of archaeological interest near Cerne. Meet at the top of Abbey Street at 5p.m. on Wednesday 11th June. To book the buffet supper and for further information please contact Mike Clark.

 A day trip to Muchelney Abbey - Monday 28th we will be going by coach to the fascinating old Abbey at Muchelney. The day will include lunch at a neighbouring Brown and Forrest Smokery, a visit to the John Leach Pottery and plenty of time to explore the remains of the Abbey, the church and adjacent Priest’s House. Places are limited and will be in demand. The cost of the coach will be £12. Entry to the Abbey is £5 or £4.10 for the over 60s and free for members of English Heritage. It costs £4 to visit the Priest’s House, free to members of the National Trust. Please contact John Paterson on 01300 341964 to reserve a place.