On September 21, 1915, a British barrister named Cecil Chubb went to an auction in Salisbury, Wiltshire. He did not come home with the item his wife had requested. Rather, on a whim, he bought Stonehenge.
In a response many spouses might appreciate, or at least recognize, Mary Chubb was not happy.
The megalith cost her husband £6,000 ($680,000 in today’s dollars).
“It’s said that Mary wanted Cecil to buy a set of curtains at the auction,” Stonehenge’s curator, Heather Sebire, told the BBC News Magazine. “And he came back with something rather different.” (The other rumor is that Chubb bought the prehistoric site to keep it out of the hands of rich Americans who were eyeing antiquities everywhere.)
UNESCO calls Stonehenge the “most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world,” and it has been on the world heritage list since 1986.
According to its caretakers at English Heritage, the first monument was built more than 5,000 years ago. The site’s iconic, cultish-looking semi-circle was erected around 2,500 B.C.