The History of Cerne Valley

Cerne Abbas

The Cerne Valley has been inhabited since Neolithic times, but signs are now few. 

Cerne Abbas is the major settlement in the Valley and was the site of an important Benedictine abbey.  Its existence is reflected in the name of the village.  Cerne Abbas thrived under the abbey, but its fortunes varied through the centuries after the Dissolution of 1539.  Fortunes were made during the 17th and 18th centuries from beer brewing and at one time the village boasted 17 brewing houses and inns!  The local economy declined in the 19th century with the general agricultural depression, but the village is once more a thriving community.  For more about the history of the village, why not look at the Cerne Historical Society website?


The village of Godmanstone lies about 3 miles south of Cerne Abbas on the A352.  The Dorset for You website provides an overview of the village.  Learn about its life, history and background through this blog.

Minterne House

Minterne House at Minterne Magna has been the home of the Churchill and Digby families for the last 350 years and is now the seat of the 12th Lord Digby.  Minterne House nestles in 1300 acres of beautiful Dorset Countryside and contains many interesting paintings and the Churchill Tapestries. The House is open for organised parties only.

The beautiful gardens at Minterne House are open for most of the year and has its own website full of information.