National Grid Ref ST 667 017
The Cerne Abbas Giant is cut on giant hill just NE of the village. It is 180' high and of similar width. The giant is cut in outline although with more detail than the Long Man of Wilmington, he also carries a club 120' long. The figure is in good condition looked after by the National Trust, the figure is fenced in and grazed.
The origins of this giant is unknown, the earliest possibly record is to a giant Helith, (1637), the first record to the giant itself was in 1694, later the name was linked to the site and the giant itself (1764). It was the center of centuries of maypole celebrations the pole being erected in the frying pan (an earthwork next to the giant.) The giant itself being a symbol of fertility. There are many theories mainly that the giant is a pagan god, cut by the Saxons which would indicate a figure pre 13th century. It may be a representation of Hercules, which would indicate a late century BC date or from the Roman revival of this myth and be of the 2nd century AD. It may be from the same era as the other giants, Plymouth, Cambridge which were cut during the 14-16 th century's. There is a very tenuous reference to the giant in the 13th century which supports is antiquity. The recent history is well known, the figure has been monitored since 1764 and has changed in its appearance over this period. The naval was lost probably during the 1887 renovation by the Pitt-Rivers family who presented the giant to the National Trust in 1920. The last major restorations were in 1953 and 1978. The giant was last repaired in 1993 when the erosion to the raised nose was repaired. The giant is well cared for cleaned annually.
Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
2008 Photo's after the recent restoration
Reproduced with kind permission of Dae Sasitorn and Adrian Warren - www.lastrefuge.co.uk
The Giant from The Main Road
Photo courtesy of Simon Harbord