A DORSET village has received some lottery funding to mark the centenary year of when it was sold off.

Cerne Historical Society has been awarded a grant of £6,700 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund towards the cost of this year’s centenary celebrations of the 1919 auction sale of Cerne Abbas by the Pitt-Rivers family.

This grant will enable Cerne Abbas to put on an exhibition and a number of other memorable events to mark the centenary of a pivotal moment in the history of the village.

On September 24, 1919 the Pitt-Rivers family, who had owned most of Cerne Abbas since 1705, put the village up for sale at auction. This took place in Dorchester Town Hall and a total of £67,402 was raised from the 75 lots.

The sale included houses, shops, farms, pubs and plots of land. Some lots were bought by the sitting tenant, some by other bidders.

Commenting on the lottery funding, the Cerne Historical Society Chair, Mike Clark, said: “We are thrilled to receive this support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund which will enable us to properly commemorate this major event in our village's history.”

Cerne Historical Society will be staging a major exhibition in St Mary’s Church in the centre of Cerne Abbas for 12 days commencing at 1.30 pm on September 24 to mark the centenary of the auction.

Using the original sale particulars and plans, maps, newspaper articles, photos old and new and recent research carried out by members of the Historical Society the exhibition will provide details of all the properties sold in the auction, those who lived in and purchased them. Other displays will provide details of the village’s farms, place of worship and pubs. Local schoolchildren will also provide displays.

On September 28 at 2pm, a period re-enactment of the auction sale will take place in St Mary’s Church with a Dorchester auctioneer and an estate agent in the main roles and many residents in other roles.