Stonehenge circa 1923

“It was 95 years ago… that a man walked into a property auction in Salisbury and came out £6,600 poorer and the owner of Stonehenge. Stonehenge had never been put up for auction before and never would again. Sir Cecil Chubb, a wealthy Shrewton resident, was the new owner of Stonehenge. He was also the last man to own it.

“For Sir Cecil, however, Stonehenge belonged to the nation, and in 1918 after owning it for just three years he formally handed it over to the country with a number of conditions. His conditions were that the entrance fee should never be more then a shilling (5p) and that local residents should have free access. “The 1918 deed of gift didn’t actually specify free access for local residents,” says Joy Kaarnijoki at English Heritage, “it was an agreement with the Parish Council. “The road passed very close to the stones. The Council agreed that the rights of way could be diverted further from the stone circle on condition that local residents would be granted free access.” Whether it was stipulated by Sir Cecil Chubb himself, or not, it’s an agreement that has continued to the present day.

“According to English Heritage, the 30,000 local residents living in and around Stonehenge can still take up the offer of free access to one of England’s most famous monuments.”

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