THIS month saw Salisbury join the local ranks of Winchester, Southampton and Swindon with the launch of its own version of Monopoly.

It’s a familiar set-up for its makers: like the Winchester version, it is the cathedral that takes the prime Mayfair spot. What do you do when a town doesn’t have a cathedral?

Far be it for me to cast aspersions on Swindon, but their highest value property is the Magic Roundabout.

Suggesting a slight lack of understanding of historical value, Salisbury Monopoly deems Stonehenge the equivalent of Old Kent Road.

Elsewhere, the Fleet Street slot plays host to the local newspaper, even though the national newspapers left for Wapping decades ago.

The modern media landscape is perhaps not Monopoly’s forte: the now defunct Spire FM sits on one of the Chance spots.

Monopoly make a remarkable number of spin-off versions. Among the twenty plus editions launched in October alone are Pixar, Miffy, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the much-coveted Home Bargains version (collect all four of the company’s distribution centres!).

Think of a subject, and there is a Monopoly version of it out there: Game of Thrones, Grimsby, David Bowie, Fortnite.

There’s a Space version where Uranus is the cheapest property and a not-for-vegetarians Pizza one where Pepperoni and Sausage take top billing.

Some versions of Monopoly are more contentious. Last year, the company launched Ms Monopoly: ‘The First Game Where Women Make More Than Men’ according to the strapline. In this version female players get more money at the start than their male counterparts and get extra cash, too, each time they pass Go.

It all feels a bit clumsy and patronising, as does the replacement of the usual playing tokens with more supposedly female friendly icons, including wine glasses and gym equipment.

Ironically, given Ms Monopoly’s strapline, Monopoly was first created by a woman, but the credit was given to a man.

It was Charles Darrow who ‘invented’ the game back in 1935 – a powerful American origin story of a man struggling in the Great Depression using his ingenuity to make his fortune.

Then in the 1970s, makers Parker Brothers sued Ralph Anspach, an economics professor, who had come up with a game called Anti-Monopoly.

As the trademark infringement case rumbled through the courts, Anspach unravelled the game’s history for his defence. Rather than creating Monopoly, Darrow had adapted a version that had been around for 30 years: the game’s origins began in 1903, when Elizabeth Magie invented The Landlord’s Game, as a warning about the powers of ownership.

In November 1935, Parker Brothers quietly bought the rights to her game: while they made millions, Magie received just $500.