"I'm delighted to have with me today the National Trust archaeologist in charge of the Cerne Abbas Dating Project, Dr. Martin Papworth who has agreed to talk to me about his organisation's biggest member
Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words by Dr Cat Jarman (bioarchaeologist, University of Oslo) of the "Gone Medieval" podcast.
The figure is in Dorset and has long been believed to date from the 1600s. Papworth's excavation suggests it is from 700-1200 instead, likely around 900 AD.
Update: There is good evidence that the figure was allowed to be overgrown for many years, then redug, rechalked, brought back. There is some evidence that the belt used to transverse the entire body, and there was also a bellybutton. This would suggest that the penis was added on later, perhaps even as late as the early 1900s. The club is also believed to have been modified more than once, and actually be a staff. We always like simple, single explanations for what something originally meant to the people who built it, regarding that as what the figure "really" was. But as digs get more complicated and almost magical geophysical techniques reveal more information, archaeologists are now forcing themselves to interpret all data in terms of its own time period only. I have mentioned before that the henges, long barrows, rows of stones, and other organised piles of rocks seem to have served different purposes in different generations.