Cerne Abbas Giant
Cerne Abbas, England
Cerne Abbas Giant Reviews
The Giant Apr 26, 2008
The Cerne Abbas Giant is a mysterious chalk figure in Dorset. As such, you would have to have another reson for being in the area - Stonehenge, perhaps, or sailing at Weymouth, both of which are nearby. It takes very little time to stand at the viewpoint and think, wow, that is quite impressive!
It is quite impressive, of course. No-one is totally sure what it is, or how old. The most common theories is that it is roughly as old as Uffington White Horse - Romano British, about 2000 years, give or take a century - and depicts Hercules or a local fertility god. The fertility God bit comes in when you note the ... unique attributes of this particular effigy. Let us just say that the Giant is very, very happy to see someone! Interestingly, there are no records of the figure until the 17th century, leading some people to wonder if it is in fact a more modern figure - a satire of Oliver Cromwell, for example. It is hard to believe that in a thousand years, no local priest wrote to the bishop about how scandalised he was that the locals were maintaining a pagan giant with a great big... fertility symbol right next to the church. But equally, why would you make one in Puritan England? Of all the attributes associated with Cromwell, I don't remember him carrying a great big knobbly club. Or having a particular reputaiton for fecundity, either.
Either way, the giant is interesting, especially if you were on your way around Dorset. The village looks very pretty too, with loads of little cottages and a gorgeous looking church. I would say that it was definately worth the detour.
The giant is not accessible, due to the risks of erosion - you look at it from the car park, which has an excellent view. There is a picnic area, and I'm sure you could get food in the pubs in the village. There is no charge for parking.
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