Cerne Abbas Giant Cerne Abbas Giant
The Giant, the 180 ft high chalk figure carved out into the steeply sloping hillside to the north of the village can best be seen from the viewpoint on the main Dorchester to Sherborne road (the A352).
The origins of the Giant are a mix of fact and speculation. Some believe that he represents the Roman god, Hercules, and is over 1500 years old. However, there is no known historical record about him before 1694 and it has been argued that he is more recent and a caricature of any one of a number of possible historical figures. Whatever the truth, he is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument in the care of The National Trust.
In 2007 a doughnut-brandishing Homer Simpson was painted next to the giant on the hill above Cerne Abbas, Dorset, to promote the new Simpsons film. Painted with water-based biodegradable paint to wash away as soon as it rained.
But not everyone were happy. Pagans, who believe the Giant is a spiritual icon, were dismayed by this bold new artwork, and, in particular, the accompanying encouragement for young couples to "do it in the doughnut".
It is not the first time the giant has been used to advertise products. He has been used to promote items as diverse as condoms, jeans and bicycles.
During World War II, the Cerne giant was disguised to prevent the Germans from using him as an aerial landmark.
Since then he has always been visible, and is maintained by the National Trust receiving regular grass trimming and regular full re-chalking.