Cerne Giant

    The Romano-British Cerne Giant, thought to be Hercules, carved in chalk in the hillside at Cerne Abbas in Dorset.

    This ancient naked figure sculpted into the chalk hillside above Cerne Abbas stands at 180ft tall, making it Britain’s largest chalk hill figure. It is also our most controversial.

    Many theories surround the giant’s identity. Is it an ancient symbol of spirituality? The Greco-Roman hero Hercules? Or a mockery of Oliver Cromwell? Local folklore has long held it to be an aid to fertility.

    Above the Cerne Giant is a rectangular earthwork enclosure, known as the Trendle. Like the giant, the Trendle is of unknown origin, but it is believed to date back to the Iron Age. It is still used today by local Morris Dancers as a site for May Day celebrations.



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