Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cerne Abbas before Homer

Judging by the number of people visiting this blog today, there is a lot of interest in the figure of Homer Simpson that has appeared next to the Cerne Abbas giant.

I have done a little research on your behalf, and it turns out that the giant may much less ancient than a lot of people assume.

As Stones of England says:

The first reference to this figure dates back to 1694: a payment in the Cerne Abbas churchwarden's accounts of 3 shillings towards the re-cutting of the giant. The first written reference is by John Hutchins in his Guide to Dorset, 1751, but no one knows exactly when or who first cut the Giant.

Recently, the historian Ronald Hutton stated that it was cut in the 17th century by the Lord Holles' servants. In fact, it's unusual that, unlike the Uffington White Horse, there is no reference to the Cerne Abbas Giant in Medieval documents.

During the Civil War (1644 - 1660), Lord Holles was Lord of the Manor but his estate was sequestered and mismanaged by his steward. Maybe then his servants, in this period of chaos, cut the giant in the hillside.


Anonymous said...

Does this excuse the idiotic use of permanent paint that was used by those who painted the Homer next to the Giant?

I think not.

Anonymous said...

Ronald Huttons idea is just one of many theories about the date of the giant.
The fact is the giant has never been dated.
The date of the giant is unknown. you can theorise all you like but unless you have a positive date the jury is still out.
The media and a vast number of people who have made comments on various forums have quoted this one theory.
This has led to complancy about this matter.
If it's not that old the reasoning goes then whats the problem.
Well it does'nt matter how old it is, it is a scheduled monument and part of our heritage.
Homer simpson is a cartoon charactor promoting a film for profit.
A piece of american commercilism.
Our world is surrounded by media hype and adverts.
Now it seems our historic monuments and the countryside itself are now targets for commercialism and adverts.
People go to the countryside for a break from the daily grind of towns and cities.
It appears now that we can not escape from our advert strewn world.
By the way Pagans were not going to do any sort of rain dance.
As usual the media were economical with the truth.
This episode has made a laughing stock out of those who voiced their concerns over the homer simpson painting.
Yet did any-one see mass demostrations on the streets or people being threatened with violence?
Was there any preaching going?
Bottle throwing, clashes with police?
What a surprise, no there was'nt.
Yet pagans are still the butt of peoples jokes and have the micky taken out of them.
It seems also that if we did'nt laugh at this publicity stunt, we don't have a sense of humour.
Why should I or any-one else have to laugh at this.
I did'nt think it was funny nor did other people, other people who were not pagan.
Conservationists were unhappy about it as well.
They did'nt get mentioned much, probably because they are not a good source to take the micky out of.
This stunt was done to encourage discord among people.
They knew that they would get more publicity by upsetting a minority group and watching the resulting backlash against that group.
I dread to think what the next stupid stunt will be.