Cerne Abbas

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"Is a small market-town, in the subdivision of Cerne, and hundred of Cerne, Totcombe and Modbury; 120 miles from London, and 7 from Dorchester, situated in a pleasant valley, surrounded by steep hills, and watered by the river Cerne, from which and an abbey it takes its name. The trades carried on here are brewing and malting, to a considerable extent; the manufacture of gloves, by Messrs. Frampton and Co.; and the making of parchment, by several individuals. Cerne is remarkable for the remains of its abbey, founded, according to William of Malmsbury, by St. Augustine. From the town ascends an immense chalk hill, terminated by a mountainous prominence, and crowned by a very large oblong entrenchment, called Trendle-hill; on the declivity of which may be traced a gigantic figure of a man, holding in his right hand a ponderous club: the figure is 180 feet in length, and formed by deep trenches cut In the grassy turf; the form of the figure is preserved by clearing out the trenches at occasional periods.The places of worship here are, the parish church, dedicated to St. Mary, situated in Abbey-street; and one chapel for the methodists. The living here is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Lord Rivers ; the present incumbent is the rev. John Davis. The market is on Wednesday; the fairs are, Mid-lent Monday, 28th, April and 2d October, chiefly for cattle and pigs. The parish contained, by the last returns, 1,060 inhabitants."

Source: Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Dorset, 1830. Transcribed by Nigel Batty-Smith ©2003

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