Stonehenge is 100

By | Category: Travel destinations
image of Stonehenge

Stonehenge – perhaps one of the most recognised sites in the world

No, you haven’t mis-read the 100. And it isn’t a mistake for 10,000 or some other figure.

A hundred years ago Stonehenge came into public ownership following the kindness of the then Cecil Chubb in presenting it to the nation.

The story goes that the rich, local barrister bought Stonehenge in order to stop it becoming foreign owned. Whether the government would have intervened to stop such a sale is unknown and it seems that the subject of an overseas buyer wasn’t discussed by the government beforehand. Can you imagine the stones being removed and carted to adorn someone like William Randolph Hearst’s castle garden in California a bit like the fate that befell London Bridge which was transplanted to Arizona in the late 1960’s?

Chubb paid £6,600 in 1915, the equivalent of less than half a million in today’s money, which seems a real bargain given the tourist interest. On the 26th of October 1918, he presented it to the nation and today it is managed by English Heritage on behalf of us all with the surrounding land being owned by the National Trust after money was raised to buy the land.

When Chub donated it, Stonhenge had already been a scheduled ancient monument for 36 years an insignificant amount of time given the age of the monument – whatever that is since archaeologists still can’t agree!

An exhibition, Stonehenge – Making Connections, opens today which shows the links that the peoples living at or near Stonehenge when it was constructed by borrowing items from the British Museum, Wiltshire Museum, Salisbury Museum, and Down Farm Museum in Dorset. For example, early Bronze Age carvings on the surfaces of Stonehenge are linked to some borrowed items like the Arreton axe (a copper alloy axe found on the Isle of Wight in the 1980’s) and a copper dagger that come from the same time. Some of the finds also demonstrate that locals had links with Europe so the importance of the exhibition appeals to a much wider area than just the surrounding area.

English Heritage is inviting people to join them at the stones on Friday 26 October 2018 and over that weekend for a few days full of celebration and surprises.

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