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The Giant, Cerne Abbas

The Giant, Cerne Abbas

Artist: Grimm, Samuel Hieronymus

Medium: Ink wash on paper

Date: 1790

Shelfmark: Additional MS 15537

Item number: f.122

Genre: Manuscript

"On the southern declivity of a steep chalk hill, called Trendle Hill, to the north of the town, a gigantic figure has been traced, representing a man holding a knotted club in his right hand, and extending his left arm; it is one hundred and eighty feet high, and well executed; the outlines are two feet broad, and two feet deep; between the legs is an illegible inscription, and above, the date 748: it is by some antiquaries referred to the Saxon times, and supposed to represent one of their deities; by others it is thought to be a memorial of Cenric, son of Cuthred, King of the West Saxons, who was slain in battle; and according to vulgar tradition, it was cut to commemorate the destruction of a giant who ravaged that part of the country, and was killed by the peasants: the figure is occasionally repaired by the inhabitants of the town".

Extract from Samuel Lewis' 'A Topographical Dictionary of England', Vol. I, [1831].

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