Latest  News

Bushes Barn Walk – Will Best and Johnny Morris
The planned date to walk over to Bushes Barn was postponed from  and will now take place on 20th July, leaving Manor Farm at 6pm. This will be a site visit following on from Will Best’s fascinating recent talk. If you wish to go and for more information, please let me know. Will is going to accompany us and we will be met at Bushes Barn by Johnny Morris, on whose land Bushes Barn is situated. Both Will and Johnny are lifelong residents of the area and will have stories and anecdotes to tell us about life in this isolated settlement. See last month’s newsletter or ‘Previously…’ below for more details.

Our website – is constantly being updated and expanded and warrants regular visiting. From the home page you can read more about recent activities and you can access an audio recording of our two most recent talks, which were both outstanding: Will Best on Bushes Barn and Professor John Bourne on the story of the first day of the Battle of the Somme and the background to the conflict. Click here for links to our our new YouTube Channel.  For all this, we are indebted to Andrew Popkin for his energy, enthusiasm and technical knowledge.

If you walk up Duck Street you will be dazzled by the gleaming whiteness of the newly painted milestone which now has its lettering in place.
Grateful thanks to Terry Cox for doing this so skilfully. Terry used to be a professional signwriter. Cerne is a village of all the talents! See this page for some photos.


A few days ago, Andrew Popkin and myself located a ‘missing’ milestone just to the south of the village.  This has been obscured by vegetation for many years and is not marked on the current edition of the Ordnance Survey map. It is in excellent condition. Over the winter we will clear the immediate area which is all we can do safely.

Mike uncovering the BM

Village walks
Last year, Patricia Vale led two walks looking at some aspects of Cerne’s history. The focus was on public houses and local industry. These were well supported and Patricia is keen to do a repeat performance this year. Two dates have been earmarked – 17th August at 6pm and 25th August at 2.30pm. Both walks will start at Hook’s Corner, which for the uninitiated (and means you should come on the walk) is the corner where The Folly meets Acreman Street (A352). Walks will last about one and a half hours. Please contact me to book a place.

Mike Clark, Chair



Bushes Barn. 

Those of you who heard the talk by Will Best last month on the settlement at Bushes Barn near Godmanstone may enjoy the opportunity to walk over and look at the site as it is today. This has been arranged for Wednesday 20th July, leaving from Manor Farm at 6.00pm. There is a long uphill walk from Godmanstone over and down to Bushes Barn, and then of course, you have to walk back. The distance is 2.5 miles there and back. Will has kindly offered to meet us and be our guide. He will go over in his Land Rover and can take a couple of passengers. If you would be interested to go, please let me know. Will has said we can park cars in Manor Farm. Turn in at the footpath sign to ‘The Turning Point.’  

Duck Street Milestone.
The restoration of the historic Turnpike Milestone at the top of Duck Street has begun. Put there in about 1824 on the Charminster to Sherborne Turnpike, it has suffered in recent years by becoming overgrown and knocked sideways by mechanical roadside strimming. The Cerne Valley Parish Council has generously contributed to its restoration, organised by the Historical Society. The work began on 28 May by clearing back the bank and restoring the milestone to the upright position. The work was largely carried out by Nigel Furness who knew what he was doing, with a supporting team of David Burgess, Andrew Popkin and George Mortimer who largely watched! The next stage is to clean and paint the milestone with approved materials, restore the original lettering, and consolidate the immediate area to prevent further damage. Thanks are owing to George who has coordinated and organised the work. Most of the milestones in the Cerne Valley are in reasonable condition, which is just as well as they are difficult to work on safely, being situated near the carriageway. The milestone to the south of Cerne has been located. Its precise position can be pinpointed as the next stone is in place near Pound Farm.  The full story will have its own page later.


The full story and more photos will appear shortly on the Milestone page


Christmas Film Show.
Following the extremely successful screening of the ‘Away in a Village’ series of BBC television programmes from 1974, we are repeating the format again this year on December 8th with a showing of some extracts from interviews we have made with prominent local residents. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served. The exact content will be publicised later but in the meantime, please reserve the date.

Our last Talk.  June 30th coincided with the eve of the centenary from World War One of the first day of the Battle of the Somme which saw the greatest loss of life in a single day in British military history. John Bourne, a military historian, gave a talk titled: Black Saturday: Reflections on the first day of the Somme, 1st July 1916.  His Talk may be heard on our YouTube Channel.  Go to About/CHS YouTube on the menu bar above.


Mike Clark, Chair