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Where have you been this year? Asleep? Don’t tell me you’ve missed the Magna Carta out and about as part of its 800 year anniversary?



You just have time to catch an exhibition or join the last of its Tourism Trail. Go to http://www.magnacarta800th.com/events/

Or flick through some selected events here:

24 July – Final day of Magna Carta: An Embroidery at the British Library, London
31 July – Mock Trial of Barons and Bishops at Westminster Hall
8-9 August – Magna Carta Medieval Weekend at Durham Cathedral
15 August – Magna Carta Mayhem and Merriment Re-enactment Day at Hereford Cathedral
25-29 September – Cartmel Priory Magna Carta Anniversary Festival
4-7 October – Magna Carta Canada in Toronto, repeated at Ligislative Assembly of Alberta Visitor Centre, Edmonton on 23 November

Best of all catch up with the last of the exhibitions at Salisbury Cathedral, St Albans, and the Palace Green Library, Durham which is showing the only 1216 version of the Charter until 31 August

And don’t miss the exhibition at the British Library, Magna Carta: Law, Liberty,Legacy which runs until the 1st September (booking advised).


This fabulous anniversary exhibition features original documents, manuscripts, seals and declarations as well as artwork and other objects.

SEE on display for the first time together, 2 of the 4 Magna Carta 1215 originals, one copy of the original US Bill of Rights plus Jefferson’s handwritten Declaration of Independence.

See where King John writes ‘King John concedes that he will arrest no man without judgement’; a medieval sword with an inscription from the occult on its blade; two teeth and a fingerbone taken from the body in King John’s tomb in Worcester Cathedral; and an amazing artwork, depicting Henry I under attack in his sleep from peasants with scythes, forks and shovels, an insight into the mind of those terrified of common insurrection years before John was brought to brook at Runnymede.


More about the Magna Carta

Want to know all about it? Find its story narrated by Terry Jones at www.bl.uk/magna-carta


Where to Find the Magna Carta:

4 copies of the 1215 Magna Carta survive: two are in the British Library,
one in Salisbury Cathedral and one in Lincoln Cathedral. Salisbury’s is probably the best preserved one. It’s on permanent display in Salisbury Cathedral’s C13th Chapter House.
Read more . . . Salisbury’s copy of the Mappa Mundi was voted into England’s Hall of Fame exhibition, April 2014, held to celebrate St George’s Day.

All 4 copies were part of an exhibition and brought together for first time ever at the
British Library, London on 4th Feb 2015. Lincoln Cathedral holds another 1215 copy plus the 1217 Charter of the Forest.

Bury St Edmunds and Cathedral. Enjoy the medieval architecture of the town – home to one of the Magna Carta. Read more about the Magna Carta: It is
said that feudal barons met in secret in St Edmund’s Abbey in November 1214 when they swore an oath to compel King John to accept a proclamation making him subject to certain laws: The Charter of Liberties. This Charter later became the Magna Carta. It’s supposed to be read aloud twice a year in all county courts and twice in all of England’s cathedrals, and at the opening of every Parliament. There are 4 copies based on the 1297 ‘original’ version, held at Lincoln, Salisbury and two in the British Library. There are 24 other versions sited, for instance, here in Bury St Edmunds, at Durham, Hereford, Oxford, Westminster Abbey, Washington DC in the USA, and one at Canberra in Australia, amongst others.

Runnymede, Surrey. One of the most famous locations in England. The British Library hosts a huge exhibition here in 2015 in celebration of the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. When you’ve had enough of that, walk the nearby River Thames water meadow where King John brokered peace with the rebel barons in 1215.