Maps & Survey

The Society has collected copies of various maps of Cerne Abbas, the earliest dating from 1768. These maps provide a fascinating insight into the development of the village since that date and can be useful in attempting, for example, to identify where an ancestor might have lived.Cerne Abbas 1768

A list of the maps held by the Society can be seen in the Bibliography. The original maps are held in the
Dorset  History Centre where they are available to view.

An important map for Cerne Abbas family historians is that dating from 1798. This was part of an ‘Admeasurement Survey’ carried out in that year. The survey, of which the 1798 map forms the basis, describes in some detail all the various properties and fields, including their owners. The Society has transcribed the Admeasurement Survey to relate the information in it to the Cerne Abbas of today.

Looking beneath the surface, John Charman has produced a Geological Resume of the area which provides fascinating information backing up his geology tour of Cerne Abbas.

STOP PRESS- Geophysical survey of the site of Cerne Abbey underway.

A major gap in our knowledge of the history of Cerne Abbas concerns the precise location of the Abbey which gave the village its name. The Historical Society is embarking on a joint venture with Archaeologists from Bournemouth University to investigate the likely site using scientific techniques to build a clearer picture of what lies beneath. We are aiming to discover “hot-spots” – areas of particular interest – which can be probed further with ground penetrating radar. We are indebted to Henry Digby who has given his blessing on behalf of the estate which owns the land and to Cerne Abbas Open Gardeners for generously providing funds. Approval from English Heritage has been obtained and initial survey work is underway.  We hope to involve as many people as possible and will issue progress reports along the way. At the end of the project there will be a fully documented report which will be the subject of a talk at the Society. Additionally, we hope to have the key findings up on a weather proof board at the site to inform visitors and local people alike.