03 January 2018

100 years of Stonehenge among key 2018 anniversaries

This year is also the centenary of the end of the First World War and the start of female suffrage in Britain 

Frost on the lawn around Stonehenge and a pink and orange sky

2018 is set to be a big year for English Heritage, with a series of special events to commemorate some of the England's historical milestones.

To mark 100 years since Stonehenge was given to the nation, English Heritage will show how our ancestors may have moved the enormous stones. Visitors will be able to take part in this incredible feat for the first time.

English Heritage will also be commemorating some significant national anniversaries in 2018. These include the end of the First World War and the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which paved the way for women gaining the right to vote. 

Men dressed as soldiers reenact an indoor war scene

A number of famous people commemorated with London blue plaques also have anniversaries this year. 2018 marks 90 years since Sir Alexander Fleming found bacteria-killing mould growing in his laboratory. This led to the discovery of what would later become known as penicillin. It's also 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Traffic lights also celebrate their 150th birthday this year. You can read more about the history of lighting on our blog.

Anna Eavis, English Heritage's Curatorial Director, said:

'This year is an incredibly rich one for anniversaries. 100 years ago women got the right to vote and 70 years ago the NHS was established - both events dramatically changed the lives of our ancestors and continue to have an impact today.
 
'This year is also an important centenary for Stonehenge. Looking at the ancient stones today, it is easy to assume that their future was always secure but at the beginning of the 20th century, that was far from the case - our most important pre-historic monument was at risk of collapse. 2018 marks a hundred years of Stonehenge belonging to us all and the monument getting the care it deserves.'

People visiting Stonehenge in the day

100 years of Stonehenge

Stonehenge was gifted to the nation in October 1918 by local landowners Cecil and Mary Chubb. This meant the world's most famous prehistoric monument belonged to everyone. It also marked a turning point in the way the ancient stones are looked after.

From March, English Heritage will be hosting a programme of events and exhibitions at Stonehenge to mark the anniversary.

As well as recreating how the stones may have been lifted, English Heritage will partner with the British Museum to launch a new exhibition featuring Neolithic and Bronze Age objects. This will highlight the craftsmanship of the people living in the period and show the connections Stonehenge had with other ancient sites across Britain and Europe.

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