Many enthusiastic lovers of Dorset may show surprise if you mention Hermitage. 'Are you sure it is in Dorset?' they ask.

Hermitage exists, 4 miles from Cerne Abbas, but seems delighted to be a forgotten place. Sir Frederick Treves in his book, 'The Highways and Bye-ways of Dorset', described it as a 'Rip Van Winkle village lying at the foot of the grassy slopes of High Stoy', a lovely hill 860 feet high, about six miles south of Sherborne. A greater solitude cannot be imagined for the hermitage that was here, belonging to the Order of St. Augustine, yet the monks left as long ago as 1460.

A curious landslide in 1583 caused three acres of land to slip and block the highway to Cerne Abbas. Treves with dry burnout humor, comments 'Since this date nothing in Hermitage has moved and it is a question now if even an earthquake would rouse it.'

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