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.


  • A member is booked to go on a course at the Dorset History Centre to assist with gathering valuable local history knowledge first hand as part of the Society’s Living History project.
  •  Planning continues apace to re-ignite the Living Histories project with two new members now expressing an interest and bringing expertise.
  • The society now has a video recorder with which to record local knowledge.
  • A member is currently engaged upon a project to make aerial photographs of the area available to view.
  • Plans are under way to redesign the Society website and a prototype has been written.
  • Geophysics continues on the site of the Abbey using to build a clearer picture of what lies, and what may have lain  beneath.  We are indebted to Lord Digby and English Heritage for permission to do this and initial survey work has been completed.