|Mention Giants and you automatically
think of the Cerne Abbas giant that is cut into the hillside to the
north east of the town, 180 ft long.
This is possibly one of the best known villages in the county mainly because of the 'rude' man on the hill.
But here is a place that was absolutely full of charm as well as being a manufacturing town with its tannery and Malthouse, for here was where gloves, harnesses and saddle were produced, sadly these went into decline as the railways never reached the town.
The church is dedicated to St Mary and the records go back to 1653. It was given by the monks in 1300 but in the 15th century when the nave and other parts was refurbished the chancel was kept. In 1960 the inside of the church was beautifully restored.
As the name suggests there was an abbey here and there is some beautiful architecture to be found in Abbey Street where there are mediaeval houses with timber fronts overhanging the street. The abbey was build in the 9th century as was for the Benedictine order and today all that remains is the gatehouse which is not far from the church.
The Cerne Abbas giant can best be viewed from the A352 and Arthur Mee once described it as ' very old and ugly' but its 'very fine proportions' stand out rather prominently! Other earthworks can be fond here including another outline, this time a terrier dog and is similar to those carvings found in the Roman period. The giant is said to be the most mysterious of all hill carvings as nobody has yet found out where and when he cam from some say it is as far back as the 2nd century AD, others think that he represent virility and could be a Celtic god.