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.


Reginald Vine – recognition by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission 

At the talk last October which told the stories of the men behind the names on the Cerne Abbas war memorial, the unhappy fate of Reginald Vine was related. He lived with his parents in Acreman Street and was mobilised into the Army in July 1916, but ill-health prevented him from serving other than at ‘Home’. He died of TB in May 1918, his discharge papers stating: ‘Disability aggravated by Ordinary Military Service’. He is buried in the Cerne Burial Ground. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has now agreed that his name should be included in their registry of war casualties, thus recognising his contribution to the national effort in The Great War. 

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