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.


Next Talk: Thursday 24th September. Judith Stinton on ‘Hilfield and the Little Commonwealth.’ Hilfield Friary housed an experimental democratic school from 1913 to 1918 which was founded by the charismatic and and radical American educationalist, Homer Lane. Children of the school helped to build it and imposed their own discipline for their misdemeanours.

HELP! The Society is looking for old aerial photographs and maps of Cerne Abbas which will be scanned and safely returned to their owners. Please call John Paterson on 01300 341964