The history of free access for local residents
Since 1901 an entrance fee has been charged to visitors to Stonehenge. The land was originally in private ownership, but in 1918 Stonehenge was given to the Commissioners of Works by Cecil Chubb (who was subsequently knighted) for the benefi of the Nation. Responsibility for the Stones has now passed to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, on whose behalf English Heritage manages the monument and opens it to the public.
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 12 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.”
Free access for local residents today
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.
How to access a local residents pass
English Heritage has continued to respect the agreement for free local access to the present day.
Today, passes for free access are supplied by Amesbury library. On production of two forms of suitable identification one of which must be photo identification confirming their eligibility (e.g. a council tax bill or utility bill and passport or driving licence photo card), residents are issued with a pass valid for one year, after which it must be renewed. The pass entitles one adult and up to three children to free access to Stonehenge during normal opening hours.
All applicants will be asked to complete a register to confirm their details, including name, address, date of issue, signature, list of ID checked, serial number of card, signature of library employee issuing the pass.
Conditions of the local residents pass
All local pass holders will receive free entry into Stonehenge including the new visitor facilities (open December 2013). Full terms and conditions are outlined on the reverse of the Local Residents Pass. The pass must be produced on each visit and is not valid for Stone Circle Access visits. Non- compliance with the terms and conditions will render the pass invalid.
An advance ticketing system has been introduced at the new visitor centre opens and pass holders are required to book before via the English Heritage website www.english-heritage. org.uk/stonehenge. Car parking charges may apply. The pass is non-transferable and may be used by the card holder only who may be asked to present photo ID to verify their identity on arrival at Stonehenge. We reserve the right to revoke this pass at any time.
to visit Stonehenge please book at: www.english-heritage.org.uk/stonehenge