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.

Our next talk “Dorset Folk Tales” will be on Thursday 27th November at 7.30 pm in Cerne Abbas Village Hall. Dorset-born Tim Laycock has a lifelong interest in local history and will explore the rich heritage of folk songs, local stories and oral history of our county.
Tim will illustrate his talk with songs, and accompany himself on concertina, melodeon and guitar.  He is the author of Dorset Folk Tales, and has produced many CD recordings of English folk songs and Dorset Dialect poetry.
Tim works as a professional actor and musician and was musical director for the RSC touring production of The Winter’s Tale in 2013. This year he has written music for Dorchester’s sixth community play Drummer Hodge, and directed the New Hardy Players’ production of ‘Wessex Scenes’.  Guests are very welcome for what should be a very lively and informative meeting.
Lest we forget
Following the immensely popular last meeting where George Mortimer and Duncan Fergusson talked to us about those people from Cerne Abbas who fell in the Great War we are hoping to organise a ”second showing” – more information to follow.
The Society’s Annual General Meeting will take place in Cerne Abbas Village Hall on Thursday 22nd January. In addition to the report from the Committee there will be an exhibition of Great War memorabilia and the stories of those, from the Cerne Valley who died in the conflict.

HELP! Your society needs you to share your skills, expertise and interests and become involved in a number of projects e.g. Living History and Farm History projects, compiling an email database of members, audio-visual support at meetings. We would also welcome your ideas for new projects.