In 1918, local barrister Cecil Chubb and his wife Mary gifted Stonehenge to the nation. This public-spirited decision marked a turning point in the history of Stonehenge and its fortunes.
A programme of restoration began almost immediately, starting a centenary of care and conservation at Stonehenge which continues to this day.
Throughout 2018 we celebrated the centenary of the gift, discovering what this iconic monument means to people today.
Your Stonehenge Stories
We wanted to know what Stonehenge means to visitors, and invited anyone who had visited the monument in the last 100 years to share the stories that captured their time at Stonehenge.
The result is an incredible archive of moving stories and powerful memories of Stonehenge. Many are now on display in an exhibition, Your Stonehenge, which will run at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre until August 2020. You can also view the photo archive here.More about the exhibition
To celebrate this centenary, we gathered 100s of local people together for a special photo. Families, Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Cubs, Scouts, schools and the military came together at Stonehenge, accompanied by a brass band and morris dancers, for a fun, celebratory occasion. The community gathered at sunrise to be a part of this special film and the on-going story of Stonehenge. We'd like to thank everyone who got up at dawn to be involved.
A generous donation
On 26 October 1918, Stonehenge was offered by Cecil and Mary Chubb to Sir Alfred Mond, First Commissioner of Works, as a gift for the nation. Cecil Chubb had bought Stonehenge for £6600 at a local auction just three years previously.
Prior to 1918, the monument was propped up with wooden poles and some of the stones were in danger of collapse. Increasing numbers of visitors through the late 19th century had led to damage, with people regularly chipping the stones for souvenirs and scratching their names on the monument. Although this was largely halted by the introduction of an admission charge and attendant policeman from 1901 onwards, the monument itself was still in a perilous condition.
Thanks to the Chubbs' generosity, Stonehenge was saved. English Heritage’s predecessors, The Office of Works, began to care for the monument, restoring many of the fallen stones and undertaking a major survey and programme of excavation. Today, the ancient monument is looked after by English Heritage on behalf of the nation.Discover the full story
100 years of care
To mark the anniversary, we’ve published a series of blog posts that trace the care and conservation of Stonehenge since 1918.
1. Stonehenge – The Gift
2. Early Excavations and Restoration
3. The 1930s and 40s: Protecting the landscape
4. Excavation and Restoration: Stonehenge in the 1950s and 60s
5. Stonehenge 1965–77: new techniques, fresh discoveries, and novel ideas
6. Stonehenge 1977–85: a dig in time and a confrontation
7. Stonehenge 1986–97: A World Heritage Site
8. Stonehenge in the 21st century: the story so far
Then and Now
To mark 100 years of visits at Stonehenge, we asked some people to recreate their holiday pictures. Scroll through to see them Then and Now.