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The Washington Connection

The extensive Notley family from nearby Cerne Abbas were early settlers in Maryland, the State set up by Lord Baltimore and his Roman Catholic wife. the Notley family are said to have owned Cerne Abbey Manor in Washington, the site of today’s Capitol Hill.  A Thomas Washington married Maria Randoll in the church of St. Mary in 1676 and lived in the Pitchmarket opposite the church. It is also said that Thomas was the uncle of George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. There are two memorial bass tablets in the floor of the nave of the church referring to the Notley family that are dated 1612 and 1626.

With the ruins of the ancient Benedictine Abbey (founded in 987), the river, streets line with stone houses and St. Mary Church the village is a popular destination for tourist. They come not only for these attraction but to look at the Cerne Abbas Giant an enormous figure of a clubbed man of indeterminate age sporting an erect phallus.

The Cerne Abbas Giant

The Cerne Abbas Giant

Pitchmarket door in Cerne Abbas by Charles Drakew

Pitchmarket door in Cerne Abbas by Charles Drakew