Stonehenge, one of the major historical sites of the world, was bought 100 years ago, on September 21st, 1915. British barrister, Cecil Chubb, attended an auction as demanded by his wife, with the intention of buying new chairs for their dining room. By the end of the event, Chubb had purchased what was described to him as a “place of sanctity dedicated to the observation or adoration of the sun”, and a few acres of “downland’ in Wiltshire with some massive stones scattered around the terrain.
He bought Stonehenge for £6,600. That’s about $10,230 US dollars
Curator Heather Sebire states that it’s rather odd to think that just 100 years ago, one could bid for Stonehenge. Another interesting thing to ponder is what may have happened to the monument if someone else had bid higher. Chubb, luckily, had made sure Stonehenge remained under local ownership; it is now safe from harm under the guardianship of English Heritage.
Stonehenge had to remain in British Hands
Back in 1915, Stonehenge wasn’t in the best condition. It was a fairly popular attraction, but tourists chipped off pieces from the historical stones and a portion was also torn in two due to an accident. The monument, owned by the Antrobus family through the early 1800s, faced some misfortune due to the war times and as a result the land had to be put up for sale. When Chubb became the proprietor, he was given the nickname “Viscount Stonehenge.” Though originally, he did not attend the auction with the intention of purchasing the land, he believed a Salisbury man should be the one to buy it.
Chubb donated the monument to the British government three years later, insisting that citizens should be able to see the land for free. Today, Stonehenge is an Ancient World Wonder and is visited by huge masses of people and tourists every year. Interestingly enough, despite its monumental present day status, Chubb’s wife (just for the record) wasn’t too happy to find herself with Stonehenge and not a new set of chairs for her dining room.