Signed in 1215 by King John at Runnymede, the Magna Carta, or The Great Charter of the Liberties of England, is seen as one of the world’s most important civil liberty treaties and is a UNESCO listed document.

The project, Engaging with the Magna Carta, will see the complete re-display and re-presentation of the Cathedral’s Magna Carta in its Chapter House alongside other documents from the Cathedral’s extensive archive.

Using displays, media, interactive stations and film, this permanent exhibition will tell the story of how Magna Carta came about and explore its lasting legacy, encouraging the many visitors to consider its enduring relevance to our rights and responsibilities today.

One of Salisbury’s connections to the document was that at Runnymede King John was urged to accept the demands of the barons and agree Magna Carta by his half-brother, William Longspeé, whose Effigy is in Salisbury Cathedral.

The Very Revd June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury said: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable us to fulfill our ambitions to share the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015 with the widest possible audience.

“As we reflect on the sealing of this milestone in human rights, we hope to help people to engage on a personal level with the values it represents and its lasting legacy of equality and justice.”

As part of the 800th anniversary will be a weekend of celebration which will take place from June 13-15, the latter day being the date the Magna Carter was signed, which will feature a concert performance of a brand new, Magna Carta based, musical commission by Tarik O’Regan, as well as a giant ‘Liber-Tea’ Party and community activities in the Cathedral and Close.

Salisbury Cathedral has raised £200,000 in partnership funding to support its bid including a pledge for £30,000 from Wilsons Solicitors in Salisbury.

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