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26-28 Long Street

A Grade II Listed Building in Cerne Abbas, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8089 / 50°48'32"N

Longitude: -2.4756 / 2°28'32"W

OS Eastings: 366584

OS Northings: 101151

OS Grid: ST665011

Mapcode National: GBR MW.YBMK

Mapcode Global: FRA 56PY.RCM

Plus Code: 9C2VRG5F+HQ

Entry Name: 26-28 Long Street

Listing Date: 26 January 1956

Last Amended: 30 October 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1323839

English Heritage Legacy ID: 105436

Location: Cerne Abbas, Dorset, DT2

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Cerne Abbas

Built-Up Area: Cerne Abbas

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Cerne Abbas St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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26-28 Long Street, Cerne Abbas, first constructed as a house in the early C16, re-fronted in the C18 and converted to two dwellings with ground-floor shops in the C19.


MATERIALS: greensand ashlar and knapped flint, with some brick, the street elevation being rendered. The roofs are covered with asbestos slate. Stone gable copings with kneelers suggest that the roof was originally thatched; the eastern stack is rendered, and the western stack of brick, with further brick stacks in the southern ranges. There are two C19 shopfronts to the street elevation.

PLAN: the building currently (2015) known as No. 26 stands to the west, and the adjacent No. 28 to the east. The main range, thought to date from the early C16, extends parallel with the street from west to east, with a passageway at ground-floor level between Nos. 26 and 28. There is a cross-wing extending southwards from the east end, thought to be contemporary with the main range, with later Both parts of the building have extensive multi-phase ranges to the rear, extending southwards to west and east, leaving a central yard. The northernmost section of the south-east range is thought to be contemporary with the main range, with the next section to the south probably being C18. In the western range, the first section to the south of the main range is probably C18, with a C19 section beyond. There is a late-C20 block at the south end of the south-east range, and a late-C20 lean-to addition at the south end of the south-west range; these are not of special interest and are excluded from the listing.

EXTERIOR: the north-facing, street elevation has regular fenestration of six windows to the first floor, with unhorned eight-over-eight sash frames, probably dating from the early C19. Brick arches surviving on No. 28 indicate the former position of openings at ground-floor level – not aligned with upper windows - now occupied by C19 shop fronts. There is a doorway in the eastern bay of No. 26, with a planked door leading to the passageway, probably the site of the house’s original cross-passage. Both shopfronts have cornices, and multi-pane windows which have been altered. The shopfront to No. 26 has a recessed central doorway having a two-leaf door with glazed panels and divided transom light above, with tall symmetrical windows (restored in 1995) with 16 panes to the front, and a panel of four panes turning the corner into the recess. The door to No. 28 is flush with the street, flanked by symmetrical 15-pane windows. In the eastern gable end of the front range the alternate courses of ashlar and knapped flint are exposed. At the north end, a projection beyond the north frontage just below first-floor level may indicate the former presence of a jetty. A section of the south elevation of the north range is visible, between the south-west and south-east ranges, though this is the result of a rebuilding. The opening to the passage is to the west, with modern casement windows above and to the ground floor. At a high level, to the east, is set a fragment of a Medieval stone panel, with trefoil decoration. The entrance is from within the passage leading into the south-west wing: the doorway from the passage has a concave reeded frame and raised and fielded panels to the reveals; the door has six raised and fielded panels.

The south-east range is in sections, with differing rooflines, the northern section representing the original cross-wing, being lower than the southern section. All parts have been much altered. In the eastern elevation of the northern section, the lower part of the walling is of flint and stone, with brick patching; the upper part is has been rebuilt in brick. At ground-floor level is a small stone window with a triangular head, thought to be original to the building. Above, there is an inserted first-floor casement window to the north, and a large later-C20 window to the south. The eastern elevation of the southern section of this range has also seen extensive change to the flint and stone walling: there are inserted C20 double doors and a large C20 window above with a large section of brick patching in between. Both sections of this range have been rendered on the western elevation; here too change has taken place during the C20, with all openings being altered.

The south-west range is also in sections. The main section is of coursed stone and flint, with render. The east elevation has four regularly spaced unhorned sash windows, probably of early-C19 date, those to the south being eight-over-eight, and those to the north, four-over-four. The attached section to the south is of flint, with heavy cement pointing. The line of the building is canted westwards, and the roof slopes to the south. There are three windows openings, all different and all C20.

INTERIOR: North range: on the ground floor, the western shop consists of a single room accessed immediately through the front door. A blocked doorway in the south-east corner formerly gave access to the passageway. The joists are supported by two C19 cast-iron columns. To the south a doorway connects with the stair hall in the south-west range. The eastern shop is also entered centrally from the street. A C20 partition divides the space into a western and eastern area. In the western area is a compartmented ceiling of four compartments, the beams, with hollow-chamfer, quirk and wave moulding, apparently dating from the C16. The ceiling does not fit the space well and may have been brought from elsewhere; however, this may be due to the rebuilding of the south wall of the main range, and the west wall of this room, adjoining the passage. A stop-chamfered beam is visible in this south wall; in the eastern part of the space a beam of the same form runs north/south. At the south end of this area is a modern screen with a casement window. On the first floor, a wall on the line of the central roof truss divides the space. Two of the tie beams of the six-bay roof – the second and third from the east – are exposed. These are slightly cambered and are chamfered, and have stave holes to the undersides, suggesting the former presence of partitioning; it is likely that there were partitions between all bays at this level, as there appear to have been in the roof space (see below). The jowl post supporting the easternmost beam is probably a later addition. At the eastern end of the space, a stone chimneypiece, thought to be original to the building, the opening having a depressed arch and continuous chamfer with a vase stop to the north jamb, lost on the south jamb. In the south-west corner of the room is a cupboard or lobby constructed of tongue-and-groove panelling, with a re-used door with L-hinges, perhaps late-C17 or early-C18, which gives access to a modern bathroom to the south, and to the landing to the west. The western part of the front range first-floor has three partitions, with a corridor to the south. The fireplace in the south-west corner is blocked. The roof over this north, main, range of the building is of six bays of equal length, defined by principal-rafter trusses with cambered collars; stave holes in the undersides of the collars indicate that the bays were at one time partitioned. There are butt purlins above and below the collars, and the trusses support a diamond-set ridge piece. Curved wind-braces survive to most bays; where absent the open mortices are visible. The fourth and fifth trusses from the eastern end bear carpenters’ marks which appear to be the numbers IIII and V; a curved line next to the numbers may be intended to differentiate the numbering system of this roof from that of the cross wing, though limited inspection does not allow for certainty on this point. The decorative form of the structure suggests that originally the first floor was open to the roof.

South-east range: at ground-floor level, a spine beam runs the full length of the original cross-wing; this area is now portioned and in the northern section the beam has been plastered over, but in the southern section it is seen to be chamfered with no stop. In the southern room unchamfered joists are exposed, and in the south wall is a small fireplace, the timber bressumer having straight-cut stops and the stone jambs with run-out stops – probably original to the building. The relative simplicity of these features suggests that this may have been a service area. A C18 or early-C19 winder stair rises from the north-east corner of the room. In the next section of the building, to the south, is a single room with a large brick fireplace, rebuilt in the C20 but incorporating an earlier bread oven. The ceiling timbers in this room have been re-used. On the first floor, the stair gives access to a landing area with a small cupboard to the north of a former chimney stack; the panelled cupboard door with L-hinges is probably C18. The other rooms in this section were created using partitions in the C20. In the next section to the south, the space has been reconfigured, but the room to the north-west retains historic features: a plain C18 chimneypiece to the north wall, beside which is an arched buffet alcove, probably dating from the early C19. There is a wide panelled window embrasure, now altered and containing modern casements; a second window is interrupted by the south wall partition and extends into the next room. To the east, a modern bathroom. The two-bay roof over the northernmost section of the east has three trusses with carpenters’ marks counting I, II and III from north to south. The form of the structure is like that over the main range, with trusses supporting two rows of threaded purlins, and with a single row of wind braces. However, the junction between the two roofs may possibly suggest that this one was constructed slightly later. The southern parts of the roof are C20.

South-west range: on the ground floor, to the north is the stair hall, with the entrance from the passage to east and the stair rising to the west; there is also a doorway from the eastern shop. The open-well stair appears to be early-C19 in date, with a wave moulding to the open string, square-section balusters, and a wreathed moulded handrail, ramped at the turn. Beneath the stair is a cupboard with a re-used early-C19 door. Each section of the range contains a single room on each floor. The first room on the ground floor is accessed both from the stair hall (door missing) and from the western corridor, through a moulded doorframe with an early-C19 six-panelled door. This room has early-C19 shutters to the window rebates; the chimneypiece is a C20 replacement. Beyond, within the southern section of the range, is a void for a former fireplace now occupied by a boiler. The southern wall, formerly external but now leading to the late-C20 lean-to, has a C19 ledged and braced door, and a C19 casement window. The plan of the first floor reflects that on the ground floor: the stair leads to a landing, with a short stair to a corridor. The northern room has a window as in the room below, no chimney, and a modern door. Beyond, a modern bathroom. The roof structure over the west range is late-C19 or early-C20.


The building now known 26-28 Long Street, Cerne Abbas, stands at the junction of Long Street and Abbey Street, opposite the entrance to the church of St Mary and the former Cerne Abbey, adjacent to the former market place.

The building was constructed as one house, probably in the early C16, as evidenced by the surviving roof of six contiguous bays, which stretches the length of the principal range, lying parallel with the street, with an apparently contemporary six-bay wing extending from the south-east corner. The house may originally have had a timber-framed, jettied front; examples of that form survive in Cerne Abbas on Abbey Street (qv). Surviving evidence suggests that the building originally had a conventional three-room layout on the ground floor, with low end, cross passage, hall and parlour, whilst at first-floor level the main range was subdivided into a series of separate rooms or units, with subdivision continuing up into the attic space. The function of these divisions is not clear: they may be associated with some industrial or commercial use of the building, possibly indicating its use as an inn from an early date, though there is currently no evidence of the gallery or passage by which the individual rooms might have been accessed, and in neither interpretation would the three-room ground-floor plan – indicative of a single dwelling – be expected.

From 1700 the property is recorded in manorial records as one house with its garden; a survey thought to date from the late C18 records the property as the Greyhound Inn, but it appears no longer to have been an inn by the time of the Admeasurement Survey of 1798. It was during the C18 that the building received a re-fronting, probably reflecting the prosperity of Cerne Abbas’s malting and brewing industries during that period, which saw the re-building or re-fronting of a number of Long Street’s houses.

Evidence survives of extensive re-modelling during the early C19, and the conversion to two dwellings, with shops on the ground floor, may have taken place at this time. In 1881 both properties were held together, but thereafter the two were held separately. The property currently known as No. 28 has been a grocer’s shop (incorporating the Post Office during the 1920s and 1930s), an electrical shop, and a furnishing shop. No. 26 was a stationer’s, newsagent, tobacconist and general store, incorporating the Post Office from the 1970s. Both shops have been empty since circa 2010.

The ranges extending southwards to west and east were built over a long period, with the early-C16 south-east range continued in the C18 and C20, whilst the west range is partly C18 and partly C19. Both ranges have seen considerable change, with much patching and re-building.

Reasons for Listing

26-28 Long Street, Cerne Abbas, first constructed as a house in the early C16, re-fronted in the C18 and converted to two dwellings with ground-floor shops in the C19, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an early-C16 house at the centre of this historic village, showing evidence of its domestic and commercial evolution;
* Surviving early-C16 fabric: the building retains a good and largely complete early-C16 roof, including the roof over the probably contemporary cross-wing, with decorative windbraces, and chamfered ties; other significant features, thought to be original, include two chimneypieces, and a small stone window and, probably, the ground-floor compartmented ceiling;
* Later historic fabric: features of interest surviving from the building’s later phases include some C18 and early-C19 internal joinery and windows, and two C19 shopfronts;
* Group value: the centre of Cerne Abbas contains many designations; of particular note is the row of early C16 jettied houses in Abbey Street, listed at Grade I, the church of Mary, also listed at Grade I, and the scheduled remains of Cerne Abbey, with the house on the site of its gatehouse, listed at Grade I.

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