The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to a major change in the internal iconography of the Giant since it was first illustrated in 1764. If, as is highly probable, that illustration was substantially correct, the navel has in the meantime, through the vicissitudes of periods of neglect alternating with renovations from time to time, ceased to have a separate existence and has become added to the penis, increasing the length of the latter by some 5 or 6 feet (1.5-1.8m). If the change did not originate with the renovation of 1887 when the Giant was cleaned by order of General Pitt-Rivers, it was certainly perpetuated under his direction.
Apart from a reference to ‘illustrious Stanengs and his Cangick Giants’ (Gibbons, c. 1670), which is most unlikely to refer to the Cerne Giant, the earliest known definite allusion to this hill-figure was made by Francis Wise (1742, 48), who refrained from describing it in detail because he considered it preferable to leave the task to the Reverend John Hutchins, then working on his History of Dorset (1774 and later editions). The earliest known illustration to date was in the Gentleman’s Magazine for 1764 (FIG, I a), accompanying a letter addressed to the editor, ‘Silvanus Urban’, unsigned but apparently not by Hutchins, who had supplied slightly different measurements to William Stukeley in October the previous year (Lukis 1883, 129-33).