On 26 October 1918 Stonehenge was formally gifted to the nation by Cecil Chubb with speeches delivered from the stone in the centre of the monument. The Salisbury Journal reported on the event with detailed coverage of the speeches of the day.
Mr Chubb made a speech where he described how as a Wiltshireman, born almost within the shadow of the stones, he was only too proud to think he was predestined to do this thing.
Sir Alfred Mond, M.P., First Commissioner of Works expressed profound gratitude felt towards Mr Chubb for his action in giving Stonehenge to the nation, and said his name would go down in history as one of those who seized the great opportunity in the great way...
…The fact the ceremony took place at what was, perhaps, the turning point of the war, the end of four years of anxiety, of toil, and of peril, when we saw at last the sun of victory appearing over the horizon of dark clouds, was a good augry. Our ancestors worshiped the sun when it rose, and to-day we could turn our eyes towards the sun of victory won so gallantly by the men who had gone out and died for us, and by those who were still fighting, and in time to come many of those who would come here would commemorate that event as the great event in this war.
Sir Hercules Read of the British Museum remarked ‘when he called it a historic occasion, he might perhaps more rightly call it a pre-historic one’ (boom boom).
The proceedings concluded with the signing of God Save the King, followed by hearty cheers, given on the call of the Mayor of Salisbury, for Mr Chubb.
You can find out more about Cecil Chubb, the monument through prints and photographs from our archives on display at our annual open day Saturday 27th October 2018!
To celebrate this anniversary we are offering copies of various 18th and 19th century prints for sale, printed on A4 photographic paper, for £7.90 plus £1.50 postage (collection from the History Centre is free). Order yours now.