This year is an important anniversary for Stonehenge. A hundred years ago, in 1918, local barrister Cecil Chubb and his wife Mary gifted it 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 have been celebrating the centenary of the gift, and discovering what this iconic monument means to people today.
On Friday 26 October 2018 we marked the anniversary of the day, 100 years ago, that Cecil and Mary Chubb donated Stonehenge to the nation. Activities included leaping into prehistory on artist Jeremy Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge (kindly loaned to us by The Store X Vinyl Factory). We also enjoyed new music, new art, an anniversary tea party and welcoming the wider Stonehenge family to share this special occasion with us.
Live locally? Find out about free access for local residents.
The Stonehenge centenary celebrations were sponsored by travel partner, South Western Railway.Read our news story
Your Stonehenge Stories
We want to know what Stonehenge means to you. If you or your family have visited the monument in the last 100 years, we’d love to see your photos, and hear the stories that capture your time at Stonehenge. These memories will be brought to life for everyone to enjoy as part of a special public digital project which will be unveiled soon.Submit your story
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
Stonehenge 100 Special Events
At Stonehenge and across the country, English Heritage has hosted special activities through the year, to celebrate the Chubbs' gift and a century of care and conservation.
- Browse and add Stonehenge photos to our digitial photo album
- Visit our special exhibition Making Connections: Stonehenge in its prehistoric world - and find out about the interconnected lives and cultures of the people who lived at the time of Stonehenge. Until 22 April 2019.
- Come to the final talk in our centenary lecture programme to learn about the Stonehenge and the Great War from Historic England researcher Martyn Barber.
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.
100 years of care
To mark the 100 year anniversary of Stonehenge being gifted to the nation we’re publishing a series of blog posts which trace the care and conservation of the monument since 1918.