Hidden among the downs about a mile from Cerne Abbas is the small parish of Up Cerne, a place the world has passed by. Even the main road to the county town avoids it. Writing in the 18th century the Dorset historian John Hutchins writes of an unremarkable church and a depopulated parish.
The small parish church stands close to the manor house. It dates from the 15th century but what we see today is largely the result of a Victorian restoration in 1870. Over the porch entrance is the Madonna, the font is square, 12th century and Norman; the pulpit is Jacobean.
The gabled manor house was built using stone from the remains of Cerne Abbey and was granted to Sir Walter Raleigh, who sold it to Sir Robert Mellor around 1624. In the 19th century a fire seriously damaged the interior and more recently there have been many alterations.
In addition to the little church and the fine manor house Up Cerne has a few cottages and a babbling stream all working together to make this a very pretty village.