Stonehenge history of ownership

Dunclan made this Freedom of Information request to The English Heritage Trust

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear The English Heritage Trust,

I am doing some research on Stonehenge and would like some information as you will hold the deeds.

1. Who owned the land before the Antrobus family?

2. Who were the first owners?

3. Is the ceiling price of entry still 5 pence still available as in the directions of Sir Cecil, and if not, who authorised that to be changed?

4. How much does Stonehenge make per year and where does that money go?

5. As a local resident of Wiltshire, I am assuming I can gain free entry, could you send me a card please for me and my family.

We have kept the questions to simple document references so that they will not exceed the hours for answers.

Yours faithfully,

The Dun family

Bryan, Ann,

1 Attachment

Our Reference:17/1504

 

Dear Dun Family,

 

Re: Information Request – Stonehenge history of ownership

 

Thank you for your email on 11 April  in which you have requested the
following information:

 

1. Who owned the land before the Antrobus family?

 

2. Who were the first owners?

 

3. Is the ceiling price of entry still 5 pence still available as in the
directions of  Sir Cecil, and if not, who authorised that to be changed?

 

4. How much does Stonehenge make per year and where does that money go?

 

5. As a local resident of Wiltshire, I am assuming I can gain free entry,
could you send me a card please for me and my family.

 

 

Your request will be considered under the Freedom of Information Act
(2000)/ the Environmental Information Regulations (2004).  We will be
writing to you within the statutory 20 working day timeframe with a
response to your request.  You will be informed if this is not possible.

 

Yours sincerely, 

 

Ann Bryan

Information Assistant

Information Management and Technology Department

Room 2/07 (am)/ G/60 (pm), The Engine House, Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon, SN2
2EH

Direct Dial : 01793 414567 (am) 01793 414797 (pm)

 

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Wilkins, Mark,

3 Attachments

Our Ref: FOI 17/1504

 

Dear Mr Dun,

 

Re: Information Request - Stonehenge history of ownership etc. :

 

Thank you for your email on the 11th April in which you have requested the
following Information:

 

I can confirm that Historic England holds information that falls within
the scope of your request and that, under the Freedom of Information Act
(FoIA) 2000, I am able to provide you with that information, as enclosed.
Please accept this as a partial response to your request. 

 

1. Who owned the land before the Antrobus family?

 

2. Who were the first owners?

 

For Questions 1. & 2:

 

The estate of Amesbury, including the land on which Stonehenge stood, and
roughly equating to the modern day parish of Amesbury, was a royal estate
from the early medieval period (since the time of King Alfred (d.899)). It
stayed with the Crown until the 1140s, after which it was then granted to
various royal followers, including the Earls of Salisbury and later the
Earls of Warwick.  At the time of the dissolution (between 1536 and 1541),
the 200,000 acre estate, including the nunnery of Amesbury Abbey, was
gifted by Henry VIII to the Duke of Somerset, Sir Edward Seymour.

 

The Amesbury estate was owned by several generations of the Seymour
family, until 1676 when it was passed by marriage to Thomas Bruce, Earl of
Ailesbury. His son Charles Bruce sold it in 1720 to his cousin Henry
Boyle, Lord Carleton (d.1725) who gave it to his nephew Charles Douglas,
Duke of Queensbury (d.1778). The manor passed in 1778 with the dukedom to
his kinsman Archibald Douglas, Lord Douglas, and in 1825 he sold it to Sir
Edmund Atrobus (d.1826). It descended with the baronetcy to Sir Edmund’s
nephew Sir Edmund Antrobus (d.1870), to his son Sir Edmund (d.1899) and in
turn to his son Sir Edmund (d.1915).

 

In 1901 the last of these, Sir Edmund Antrobus, 3rd Baronet, enclosed
approximately 20 acres around Stonehenge and began to charge for
admission: his right to do this was confirmed by the High Court in 1905.

 

In the opening months of World War I, Edmund was killed serving in the
Grenadier Guards and his uncle, Sir Cosmo, decided to sell the estate. The
sale was put into the hands of Messers Knight, Frank and Rutley and lot 15
was ‘Stonehenge with about 30 acres, 2 rods, 37 perches of adjoining
downland’. Cecil Chubb's interest in the local area led to him attending
the sale, which took place at the Palace Theatre, Salisbury on the 21st
September 1915. Apparently he went with instructions from his wife to
purchase some chairs. He had no intention of bidding, but in his own
words: "while I was in the room I thought a Salisbury man ought to buy it
and that is how it was done". Stonehenge cost him £6,600 (about £392,000
today). After the bidding Cecil admitted that he put his hand up on
impulse.

 

Cecil Chubb remained its owner for three years and then, on the 26th
October 1918, he formally handed it over to Sir Alfred Mond, the First
Commissioner of Works, who received it as a gift on behalf of the nation.
The deed of gift included several conditions or covenants (a list of these
is attached).

 

3. Is the ceiling price of entry still 5 pence still available as in the
directions of  Sir Cecil, and if not, who authorised that to be changed?

 

The shilling (or five old pence) entry price of a shilling ended during
the 1970’s and the entry price was increased. This decision was authorised
by the then Stonehenge Working Party to try to cap the number of visitors
at the time (and thereby limit the strain on the monument itself as well
as the local area services/amenities and infrastructure etc.).

 

The current price of admission has been competitively set in line with
other major sites and attractions.

 

4. How much does Stonehenge make per year and where does that money go?

 

A response to this question will follow shortly. My apologies for this
delay.

 

5. As a local resident of Wiltshire, I am assuming I can gain free entry,
could you send me a card please for me and my family.

 

The 1918 Deed of Gift did not specify free access for local residents, but
at that time public rights of way passed very close to the Stones. These
proved inconvenient to the management of the site, and in 1921 the
Commissioners of Works sought to address this. An agreement was reached
that the rights of way would be diverted further from the stone circle,
outside of the fenced area, on the basis that residents of the then
Amesbury Rural District and Parish of Netheravon would be granted the
right of free access to the monument.

 

A resolution was passed by Amesbury Parish Council on the 12th April 1921
stating that:

 

“… the Council relinquishes all claims on the right of way now enclosed,
on condition that all householders and their families, (or all
inhabitants) of the parishes, comprising the Rural District of Amesbury,
and the householders and their families (or inhabitants) of the Parish of
Netheravon, be granted free admission to Stonehenge at all times. Subject
to the usual rules and regulations made by the Board for the proper
management of Stonehenge as an Ancient Monument.”

 

The agreement for free local access has continued to the present day. The
Parish of Netheravon still exists, but Amesbury Rural District disappeared
in the 1974 local government reorganisation. The agreement is accordingly
taken to apply to all inhabitants of those parishes which were within the
former rural district council area.

 

These areas (which currently account for just over 30,000 residents) are
as follows:

 

• The Town Council of Amesbury;

 

• The Parish Councils of Bulford, Figheldean, Durrington, Durnford,
Woodford, Winterbourne Stoke, Shrewton, Orcheston, Tilshead, Winterbourne,
Idmiston, Allington, Newton Toney, Netheravon;

 

• The Parish Meetings of Milston, Wilsford-cum-Lake, and Cholderton.

 

Local resident’s passes can be picked up at Durrington Town Hall and
Amesbury Library, on production of two forms of ID.

 

I hope that the information I have provided is helpful to you. Details of
our review procedure are attached.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mark Wilkins
INFORMATION RIGHTS OFFICER

IMT

) T 01793 414539

+ Historic England | Room 2/07 | The Engine House | Fire Fly Avenue |
Swindon | Wiltshire | SN2 2EH

: [1][email address]

 

You may re-use the information provided (excluding logos) free of charge
in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.
To view this licence, visit
[2]www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

 

Where any third-party copyright information has been provided, you will
need to obtain permission from the copyright holder concerned. Public
authorities who are complying with their statutory duty under the EIR to
release information to an applicant are not breaching the Copyright,
Designs and Patents Act 1988.  Normal copyright rules do, however, still
apply and continue to protect the rights of the copyright holder once the
information is released.  You may be in breach of copyright if you
reproduce or publish any documents that are subject to copyright without
permission.

 

 

[3]Historic England Logo

We help people understand, enjoy and value the historic environment, and
protect it for the future. [4]Historic England is a public body, and we
champion everyone’s heritage, across England.

Follow us:  [5]Facebook  |  [6]Twitter  |  [7]Instagram     Sign up to our
[8]newsletter     

For the first time, we are opening up The List asking people to share
images, insights and secrets of these special historic places to capture
them for future generations. Can you help us #[9]ListEngland?

This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal
views which are not the views of Historic England unless specifically
stated. If you have received it in error, please delete it from your
system and notify the sender immediately. Do not use, copy or disclose the
information in any way nor act in reliance on it. Any information sent to
Historic England may become publicly available.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...
3. http://www.historicengland.org.uk/
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8. http://bit.ly/1p49z1e
9. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/e...

Wilkins, Mark,

2 Attachments

Our Ref: FOI 17/1504

 

Dear Mr Dun,

 

Re: Information Request - Stonehenge history of ownership etc. :

 

Thank you for your email on the 11th April in which you have requested the
following Information:

 

I can confirm that Historic England holds information that falls within
the scope of your request and that, under the Freedom of Information Act
(FoIA) 2000, I am able to provide you with the remainder of the
information for you request, as enclosed. A partial response was sent to
you on the 12^th May.

 

4. How much does Stonehenge make per year and where does that money go?

 

I can confirm that English Heritage holds information regarding the income
for Stonehenge. However, I believe it to be exempt from disclosure under
Section 43 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Section 43 (2)
provides an exemption from disclosure for information which would or would
be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person (a person
may be an individual, a company, the public authority itself or any other
legal entity).

 

As section 43 is a qualified exemption and is therefore subject to a
public interest test I also have to consider whether the public interest
in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing
it.

 

In favour of disclosure I have considered the public interest in the
accountability and transparency of English Heritage and the way in which
the business is run. In favour of maintaining the exemption, I have
concluded that the disclosure of the information would prejudice the
commercial interests of the English Heritage Trust. The Trust  is facing
the challenge of becoming self-funding within eight years of its launch. 
This is dependent on achieving ambitious revenue targets which are, in
part, primarily connected to Stonehenge, which accounts for a significant
proportion of the Trust’s income.  Despite being an iconic attraction,
other attractions including those within the South West and along the M4
corridor seek to win this market. It is crucial for the on-going
commercial viability of the Trust that it is able to operate in a
competitive commercial environment on a level playing field with its
competitors.

 

Disclosure of income figures for Stonehenge would weaken the ability of
the Trust to perform competitively and exposes business data to other
commercial organisations.  This information would be useful to competitors
and would place English Heritage at a commercial disadvantage. It is
important to note here that any information released under the Freedom of
Information Act is then considered to be in the public domain.

 

Having considered the above arguments I have concluded that the public
interest is best served by maintaining the exemption.

 

In terms of where the money is spent, English Heritage is a charity whose
objectives are to conserve the National Heritage Collection of over 400
unique sites and monuments, to the highest standards possible, in keeping
with their status as part of England’s national heritage, and to bring
history to life in the places where it happened by opening up the sites
and monuments to public access, through exhibitions, events and
educational programmes, supported through our online content. We want to
create inspiring visitor experiences and we want to ensure our historic
sites and artefacts are expertly cared for, so they can be enjoyed by
future generations. We currently receive annual funding from Government
but our goal is to ensure we are financially independent by 2022/23.
Surpluses made at our more popular sites are re-invested in other parts of
the estate, and in running the business, in pursuit of these aims.

 

I hope that this information is useful to you. Please accept my apologies
for the delay in responding to this part of your request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mark Wilkins
INFORMATION RIGHTS OFFICER

IMT

) T 01793 414539

+ Historic England | Room 2/07 | The Engine House | Fire Fly Avenue |
Swindon | Wiltshire | SN2 2EH

: [1][email address]

 

You may re-use the information provided (excluding logos) free of charge
in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.
To view this licence, visit
[2]www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

 

Where any third-party copyright information has been provided, you will
need to obtain permission from the copyright holder concerned. Public
authorities who are complying with their statutory duty under the EIR to
release information to an applicant are not breaching the Copyright,
Designs and Patents Act 1988.  Normal copyright rules do, however, still
apply and continue to protect the rights of the copyright holder once the
information is released.  You may be in breach of copyright if you
reproduce or publish any documents that are subject to copyright without
permission.

 

 

[3]Historic England Logo

We help people understand, enjoy and value the historic environment, and
protect it for the future. [4]Historic England is a public body, and we
champion everyone’s heritage, across England.

Follow us:  [5]Facebook  |  [6]Twitter  |  [7]Instagram     Sign up to our
[8]newsletter     

For the first time, we are opening up The List asking people to share
images, insights and secrets of these special historic places to capture
them for future generations. Can you help us #[9]ListEngland?

This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal
views which are not the views of Historic England unless specifically
stated. If you have received it in error, please delete it from your
system and notify the sender immediately. Do not use, copy or disclose the
information in any way nor act in reliance on it. Any information sent to
Historic England may become publicly available.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...
3. http://www.historicengland.org.uk/
4. http://bit.ly/1OuxROd
5. https://www.facebook.com/HistoricEngland
6. https://twitter.com/HistoricEngland
7. https://www.instagram.com/historicengland/
8. http://bit.ly/1p49z1e
9. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/e...