24 CERNE, UP (E.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXII, S.W. (b)XXXI, N.W.)
Up Cerne is a small parish adjoining Cerne Abbas on
the N.W. The Manor House is the principal monument.
a(1) Parish Church (dedication unknown) stands
in the S.E. part of the parish. The walls are of flint
and stone rubble with freestone dressings; the roofs
are covered with slates and tiles. The Chancel was
rebuilt early in the 16th century. The church was
restored in 1870 when the Nave was rebuilt, the chancel
largely rebuilt and the West Tower added. The Organ
Chamber was built in 1912.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (16¼ ft. by
13¼ ft.) has a reset 15th-century E. window of three
trefoiled ogee lights with vertical tracery in a four
centred head with moulded reveals and label with
returned stops. In the N. wall is a 16th-century window
of two four-centred lights in a square head with moulded
reveals and label; further W. is a modern arch to the
organ-chamber. In the S. wall are two windows
uniform with that in the N. wall; the blocked doorway
has moulded jambs and four-centred head. The
chancel-arch is modern.
Fittings—Brass: In tower—to Elizabeth, daughter
of Matthias Barber, 1693, inscription only. Communion Table: modern, but incorporating late 17th-century turned legs. Font: square tapering bowl of
Purbeck marble, one face with simple scallop-ornament,
others with range of panels with rounded heads,
cylindrical stem and moulded base for four subsidiary
shafts, late 12th-century, subsidiary shafts modern.
Hatchments: In nave—one on N. wall, of White
(Plate 25), two on S. wall, of Carey and of Batten
impaling White, 19th-century. Monument and Floor-slab. Monument: In N. chapel—on E. wall, to
John White, 1830, Harriet his wife, 1862, and others,
white marble wall-tablet with shield-of-arms, by G.
Wood, Bristol. Floor-slab: In nave—to Edmund
Taunton, 1672, Elizabeth his wife, 1669, and Mary,
their daughter, 1678–9, with incised architectural
decoration. Piscina: In chancel—recess with chamfered two-centred head and drain, mediæval. Plate:
includes Elizabethan cup and cover-paten, the former
with band of engraved ornament, also pewter flagon
and dish, probably 18th-century. Pulpit: of oak,
octagonal, each face with one carved and one reeded
panel, carved top rail, early 17th-century. Seating:
Reading-desk and pew in N. chapel, made up with early
17th-century panelling similar to pulpit. In tower—
two coffin-stools with turned legs, 17th-century; a
third in ringing-chamber. Sundial: On S.W. angle of
nave—scratch-dial, reset. Miscellanea: On N. porch—
over outer entrance, small figure of woman, 15th-century.
b(2) Up Cerne Manor House (Plate 99), 40 yards S.
of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls
are of rubble and the roofs are covered with stone slates.
It was built or rebuilt early in the 17th century by Sir
Robert Mellor (d. 1624). The N. wing was added
late in the 17th century and is largely of brick; it
incorporates parts of an earlier building. The house
was much altered and despoiled of its plasterwork
and woodwork early in the 19th century when the
two bay-windows were rebuilt. The house was re-roofed in 1892 and the turret at the N. end of the main
block was added in 1909.
The W. Front has gabled cross-wings at the ends,
a small gabled wing against the N. cross-wing and
a one-storeyed porch, above which there is a small
gable on the main wall. The windows have four-centred lights in square heads and mostly have moulded
labels. In the end of the N. cross-wing is a five-light
window partly blocked and in the end of the S. cross-wing is a three-light window also partly blocked; the
other windows are mostly of two lights. The porch has
an outer entrance with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with a label; in the N.
wall is a blocked four-centred arch; the inner entrance
has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square
head; it is fitted with a door of nail-studded battens
with strap-hinges. The E. Front has been much
restored and the windows renewed. The N. wall
retains some original windows. The N. Wing has an
E. wall of stone with some original stone-mullioned
windows. The late 17th-century W. wall is of brick
with black headers; the windows are of stone and of
two four-centred lights; they are of early 17th-century
date reset. Incorporated in the walls of the main
block are two beast-heads, a man's head and two
respond-capitals, probably from Cerne Abbey.
Up Cerne Manor House
Inside the building, the Hall has an original fireplace
with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square
head; the surround has strapwork-panels and the overmantel is of two bays divided by a terminal female
figure; the bays have each an enriched panel enclosing
strapwork and a shield. The passage to the N. has
an original wooden partition. The S.E. room has
an original fireplace with chamfered jambs and four-centred head; the head has joggled joints. The S.W.
room has a reset original wooden partition with
moulded styles forming panels and a moulded cornice;
the fireplace has a surround made up of early 17th-century and modern woodwork; the overmantel
has a panel with a carving of Adam and Eve with
the serpent flanked by terminal figures supporting the
enriched entablature. The room above the S.E. room
has a small early 17th-century stone panel with the figure
of a man holding a severed head and a broken dagger.
a(3) Higher Farm, house 300 yards W.N.W. of
the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of coursed
rubble and flint and the roofs are tiled. It was built
late in the 17th century and retains two original three-light windows with moulded labels.
a(4) Cottage, 80 yards N.W. of (3), is of two storeys;
the walls are of coursed rubble and flint and the roofs
are thatched. It was built probably early in the 18th
a(5) Bank and Ditch across the boundary between
this parish and that of Hillfield, 1½ m. N.W. of the
church, can be traced for about 150 yards. It probably
extended across the ridge top and has the ditch on the
W. side. In its best preserved part the bank is about
9 ft. wide and 9 in. high, while the ditch is 16ft. wide
and 2 ft. to 3 ft. deep.
a(6) Earth Ring, on High Cank ¼ m. N.N.W. of the
church, consists of a ditch with an outer bank and a
single entrance on the E. (for plan see preface, p. xxxii).
The total diam. of the work is about 74 ft. and the
bank rises at most some 3 ft. above the bottom of the
ditch. There are some traces of a slight mound, much
disturbed, in the middle of the ring.
b(7) Mound, probably a bowl barrow, on Wancombe
Hill 1,450 yards W.S.W. of the church, is 60 ft. in diam.
and 4 ft. high.
b(8) Celtic Field-System, on the N. and E. sides of
Seldon Hill and on the E. side of Wancombe Hill,
½ to ¾ m. W. of the church.
a(9) Lynchets, on the N. and S. sides of Sheephouse
Bottom ¾ m. W. of the church.
a(10) Lynchets, on the S.E. slope of Seldon Hill
700 yards W.S.W. of the church.