CELEBRATIONS are underway today (Friday) to mark the 100th anniversary of Stonehenge being donated to the nation.

Artist Jeremy Deller has curated the event which features live music, an inflatable Stonehenge, anniversary tea party and more.

A hundred years ago, on October 26, 1918, Cecil and Mary Chubb gifted Stonehenge to the nation.

Thanks to their generosity, Stonehenge was saved, as prior to 1918 the monument was propped up with wooden poles and some of the stones were in danger of collapse.

English Heritage’s predecessors, The Office of Works, restored many of the fallen stones and undertook a major programme of care and conservation, one which continues today under English Heritage.

Kate Mavor, English Heritage’s chief executive, said: “Stonehenge may be 4,500 years old but all this month and all this year, we’re celebrating the monument’s last 100 years. Cecil and Mary Chubb’s generosity saved Stonehenge and transformed it from a neglected ruin to a national treasure. Their gift started a programme of care and conservation for the ancient stones and the surrounding landscape, one that continues today.”

Jeremy Deller added: “I'm happy to be helping English Heritage out on this celebration. I feel we are instinctively drawn to Stonehenge and similar places, which are such important but also mysterious constituents of our identity, to celebrate this gift to the nation is to celebrate the place itself.”

As part of the centenary celebrations, there will be a premiere of a new piece of music performed within the stone circle.

Commissioned by English Heritage, the piece is a collaboration between Jeremy Deller, composer Matt Rogers, and the contemporary music ensemble, the London Sinfonietta. The piece for brass and percussion will be performed at intervals throughout the day.

Another highlight of the day and the will be the debut at Stonehenge of Sacrilege, Deller’s inflatable replica Stonehenge.

Sacrilege has been loaned to English Heritage by The Store X Vinyl Factory, and will be outside the Stonehenge visitor centre from today until Sunday (October 28).

This evening, Deller will give a talk on art, archaeology and the ancient world at the Stonehenge visitor centre.

To help support the conservation of Stonehenge and the other 400 plus historic sites in the care of the charity English Heritage, Deller has produced a limited edition series of 100 Stonehenge-inspired prints. These signed and numbered prints will be available to buy on site.

As part of English Heritage’s year long programme marking the centenary, the Stonehenge Visitor Centre is hosting a new exhibition Making Connections: Stonehenge in its Prehistoric World, which is in partnership with the British Museum.