The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Cerne Abbas Giant

Hill Figure


What can you say really.. gut reaction when I saw him was to laugh my ass off. Im sure he has had this effect on pilgrims for thousands of years.

I read with interest what Proffesor Ronald Hutton had to say about him being a Reformation joke aimed at Cromwell. The argument is based around the fact that no one wrote about him until that period.

The theory being that a local landowner went out and cut the figure into the cliff to flick the V's at Olly.

The trouble is no one at the time, including the aforementioned landowner wrote about the appearance of a vast nob monster on a Dorset hillside. No one involved in the joke seems to have felt the need to mention it or draw anyones attention to it. A lot of effort to go to to raise a laugh and then not share it with anyone.

The argument seems to be "no one mentioned it, so it didn't exist". By the same measure Britain didn't exist until the Romans started writing about it. End of rant.

I have a couple of stories about the big mans pride and joy. He has lost it on a few occasions. The prudish Victorians turfed it over and then during the Second World War he was emasculated again. The story goes that Luftwaffe pilots were using his nob to target Bristol.

My favourite story is about the Sunday school teacher who led a party of children up onto the giant for a day out. When an inquisitive child asked about the monster dick the flustered teacher told the kids. " He must have been a tailor, and those must be his scissors".

The village of Cerne Abbas has a cracking holly well near the church.
Posted by KPH
8th August 2000ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment