22 10 2010

English Heritage looks after Stonehenge on behalf of the nation. But we do not control the copyright of all images of Stonehenge. And we have never tried to do so.

Stonehenge image

We have no problem with photographers sharing images of Stonehenge on Flickr and similar not-for-profit image websites. We encourage visitors to the monument to take their own photographs. If a commercial photographer enters the land within our care with the intention of taking a photograph of the monument for financial gain, we ask that they pay a fee and abide by certain conditions. English Heritage is a non-profit making organisation and this fee helps preserve and protect Stonehenge for the benefit of future generations. The majority of commercial photographers respect this position and normally request permission in advance of visiting. We regret the confusion caused by a recent email sent to a picture library.

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

The man who bought Stonehenge

22 10 2010

It was 95 years ago, this week, 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.

Bought ‘on a whim’

Stonehenge had been in private hands since the middle ages and been in the Antrobus family since the early 1800s.

But when the heir to the Antrobus baronetcy was killed in the Great War the estate was put up for sale.

Restoration of Stonehenge in 1950

Stonehenge undergoes restoration work in 1950

In the hands of Messrs Knight, Franck and Rutley, on the 21st September 1915, the historic site went under the hammer.

And Lot 15: Stonehenge with 30 acres of adjoining down land was sold at the Palace Theatre in Salisbury to the highest bidder.

Sir Cecil Chubb, who’d had no intention of bidding at the sale, bought it ‘on a whim’ as a gift for his wife who, it’s claimed, was none too pleased.

For the price of £6,600, the equivalent of £392,00 in today’s money, Sir Cecil Chubb’s intention that a “Salisbury man ought to buy it” was realised.

Stonehenge worth £51m

Just 95 years on and, according to a survey of 500 estate agents invited to put a price on national monuments across the UK, Stonehenge is now worth a monumental £51m.

Whilst the recommended estate agent’s blurb, suggested in the same survey carried out by, could read:

Stonehenge “Airy property with bags of potential. Comes with land but needs serious renovation, including new roof and double-glazing.”

We would still advise our client to sell it at auction
Andrew Rome, Knight and Franck

But how would Messrs Knight, Franck and Rutley, the estate agents who originally handled the sale, sell Stonehenge today?

“We would still advise our client to sell it at auction,” says Andrew Rome from Knight and Franck.

“And to sell it as a going concern as a business based on the income it generates.”

With Stonehenge attracting around 900,000 visitors a year, paying an average of £5 per head, a £51m valuation starts to sound like a good investment.

Free admission

For Sir Cecil, however, Stonehenge belonged to the nation, and in 1918 after owning it for just three years he formerly 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

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

In 1915 Stonehenge was bought for just £6,600, its current valuation is estimated at £51m

In 1915 Stonehenge was bought for just £6,600, its current valuation is estimated at £51m

%d bloggers like this: