Daughter of 1930s Stonehenge custodian shares her memories of historic site

Jean Grey, 91 and now living in Australia, took part in an English Heritage project.

Daughter of 1930s Stonehenge custodian shares her memories of historic site

The daughter of a 1930s Stonehenge custodian is sharing her memories of the mysterious landmark for an English Heritage project.

Jean Grey, 91 and now living in Melbourne, Australia, grew up among the stones thanks to her father Jon Moffat.

She contacted English Heritage through her granddaughter to share her memories of living at the cottage that stood at Stonehenge Bottom in the 1930s.

Jean Grey at Stonehenge 1936
Jean Grey, now 91, lived at Stonehenge in the 1930s and is sharing her memories of the landmark (Jean Grey/PA)

Ms Grey said: “Dad was the custodian of the Stones. He cut the grass and maintained the area round the huge monoliths and made sure no-one damaged them.

“Occasionally, school groups would arrive by charabanc for a conducted tour and sometimes visitors who were wealthy enough to have their own transport.

“Most of the time it was a quiet, safe place for me to play around the Stones. No neighbours. No other children. No electricity and only an outside earth toilet.

“There was no rubbish collection – a pit was dug in the far corner of the back garden and everything was buried, including my father’s old, chain-driven motorbike.”

1930s aerial photo of Stonehenge custodian's cottage_Historic England Archive
A 1930s aerial photo of the Stonehenge custodian’s cottage (Historic England Archive/PA)

The house Ms Grey lived in was demolished in 1938, however the remnants of the hedge are said to appear every year.

Susan Greaney, English Heritage historian, said: “People have been visiting Stonehenge for centuries, but there’s not very many people who can say they lived there – it must have been an amazing place to grow up. We’re really pleased to now be able to tell the story of someone who did.”

The Your Stonehenge exhibition has been extended until August 2022 and will feature a series of new displays over the coming months.

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