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Cerne Abbey, Cerne Abbas

The Abbey House, now a private home. View all images in our Cerne Abbey Photo Gallery.
Abbey Barn and part of the Abbey House.
The Abbot's Porch (1509).
The Abbot's Porch with double oriel window.
Interactive map of Cerne Abbey (center left marker).

Cerne Abbey was founded in 937 AD and dominated the village of Cerne Abbas and the surrounding area until its dissolution in 1539.


The history of Cerne Abbey begins in 870, when St. Edwold refused the East Anglian crown and came to the Cerne River valley to live as a hermit instead. This is probably the reason Cerne was chosen as the site for a new monastic foundation in 987.

Cerne Abbey was founded as part of the monastic revival under King Edgar (957-975), who assigned his minister Aethelmaer to supervise it. The abbey grew and prospered over the centuries, becoming an important landowner in the area. The village of Cerne Abbas grew up around it, and most of the villagers worked for the abbey in some way or another.

What to See

Today, all that remains of Cerne Abbey are the Guesthouse, Abbey Barn, and Abbot's Porch, but these are well worth a visit.

The Guest House and Abbot's Porch are both on the grounds of the privately-owned and occupied Abbey House, which itself incorporates part of the abbey's South Gatehouse.

Especially interesting is the Abbot's Porch, which was a late addition in 1509. It features a fine double oriel window, carved with seals and small animal figures.

Quick Facts on Cerne Abbey

Site Information
Names:Cerne Abbey
City:Cerne Abbas
Faiths:Christianity; Catholic; Benedictine
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Cerne Abbas, England
Coordinates:50.811150° N, 2.476352° W  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Cerne Abbey

Below is a location map and aerial view of Cerne Abbey. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.


  1. Personal visit (November 2006).
  2. Cerne Abbas - Strolling Guide

More Information

Article Info

Title:Cerne Abbey, Cerne Abbas
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:08/26/2009
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/england/cerne-abbas-abbey">Cerne Abbey, Cerne Abbas</a>