Coronavirus: Flagship sites, including Stonehenge, closing to the public

Coronavirus: Flagship sites, including Stonehenge, closing to the public

Published by Mike Draper at 8:42pm 17th March 2020. (Updated at 9:01pm 17th March 2020)

4 minute read

English Heritage and The National Trust are both taking drastic action to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The two organisations, which own and manage some of Wiltshire and Hampshire’s most iconic and world famous visitor attractions are following the latest Government advice amid the coronavirus pandemic.

ENGLISH HERITAGE

  • All its staffed/paid historic sites will close from the end of Wednesday 18th March until 1st May
  • That includes Stonehenge, Old Sarum, Old Wardour Castle
  • Free-to-enter sites will remain open to visitors. These sites have large open spaces in which visitors can maintain social distancing and they are often located in quieter spots away from crowds
  • Tickets will be refunded for any events that need to be cancelled

STONEHENGE CLOSING

A view of Stonehenge with visitors around the stones.
No visitors allowed into Stonehenge until May 1st at the earliest

In an email to its members, Kate Mavor the Chief Executive of English Heritage said:

"Following the latest government recommendations, we have taken the decision to close all our staffed historic sites from the end of Wednesday 18th March until 1st May. We will be reviewing this and will keep you updated. Some sites may be opened earlier and we will let you know if this is the case. We also need to cancel our public events during this period.

Free-to-enter sites will remain open to visitors. These sites have large open spaces in which visitors can maintain social distancing and they are often located in quieter spots away from crowds.

Our first priority is the health and wellbeing of all our Members, visitors, volunteers and staff, and we hope you can understand why we have taken this unprecedented step.

England’s past is full of stories of hope in the face of adversity, and of people coming together to overcome all kinds of challenges.

We look forward to welcoming you at our sites again soon, and we will let you know about our plans for reopening as soon as we are able. Until then, I hope that you and those close to you keep healthy and safe."

A montage of photos of Old Warour Castle, an English Heritage site near Tisbury.
COVID-19: Old Wardour Castle near Tisbury is one of the English Heritage sites to be closed.

THE NATIONAL TRUST

The National Trust says all its pay-for-entry properties will close to visitors by Friday 20 March to try and help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The closure affects National Trust houses, cafés and shops in Wiltshire and Hampshire including:

  • Stourhead
  • Mompesson House in Salisbury
  • Mottisfont
A view of the front of Mompesson House in Salisbury.
MOMPESSON HOUSE: National Trust says all its pay-for-entry properties will close by Friday 20 March to try and help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Where possible, it plans to keep as many of its gardens and parklands open, free of charge, to encourage the nation to enjoy open space, while observing social distancing measures.

Following the Prime Minister’s advice on Monday 16 March the National Trust’s Director-General Hilary McGrady said:

“The National Trust was founded 125 years ago for the benefit of the entire nation. We want to honour our mission – to enable people and nature to thrive. Over the coming weeks we will do all that we can to keep on providing public benefit through caring for places and giving people access wherever possible.

“While we will close our indoor areas to help fight the spread of coronavirus, we recognise that people are likely to need access to open space.”

However, the charity does hope to keep ‘as many of the Trust’s gardens and parklands open, free of charge’ for people.”

READ MORE

The latest government information on coronavirus can be found here.

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