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Construction of new Magna Carta Exhibition underway at Salisbury Cathedral
As Salisbury Cathedral prepares for a bonanza year of events to celebrate Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary, work has begun on our new Chapter House exhibition.
“It’s very exciting that 2015 and the Anniversary Year is finally here – and to see work actually starting. The new Magna Carta exhibition will see the Chapter House and Cloisters transformed into an interactive space that will set the document in its historic context. It will be an immersive visitor experience with digital media displays, artefacts, interactive stations and video to bring the story of King John and his barons to life and prompt us to reflect on what the Magna Carta really stands for” said David Coulthard, Marketing and Communications Director.
Alongside Magna Carta, other rare medieval documents from the Cathedral’s archive will be put on show, in addition to a selection of objects loaned by Salisbury Museum.
During the construction work Salisbury Cathedral’s original 1215 Magna Carta will not be on public display and the Chapter House will be closed. However a near perfect facsimile of Magna Carta will be displayed in the Morning Chapel on the North side of the Cathedral.
Whilst off display the 800 year old document will undergo conservation work in preparation for the British Library and House of Lords unification events on 2- 4 February, when all four of the surviving original 1215 copies of Magna Carta will be brought together for the first time. When returned to Salisbury Cathedral, Magna Carta will be installed in the new exhibition, which will open in March 2015.
View images of the dismantling of the old Magna Carta display here.
Posted By : Megan Bullock @ Salisbury Cathedral
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The Pillars of the Earth: Meet Ken Follett at Salisbury Cathedral on Sunday 2nd March
Salisbury Cathedral is delighted to announce that Ken Follett is visiting on Sunday 2 March at 6.00pm at the start of a tour of five Cathedrals to mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of his global bestselling book The Pillars of the Earth. The author was inspired to write what has become a classic masterpiece by a number of medieval cathedrals in England and Europe, but none more so than Salisbury. He will deliver a lecture ‘Why Cathedrals?’, sign books and meet fans at a reception immediately afterwards.~
Sarah Mullally, Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral, said “This is truly a rare opportunity to hear Ken Follett talk about cathedrals, the inspiration behind his extraordinary book The Pillars of the Earth, and to meet him in person. He is passionate about these buildings and through his researches for the book, and its sequel World Without End, has considerable knowledge and understanding of them and the people who built them. He will be joined by the actor David Oakes – who played the dastardly William Hamleigh in the TV mini-series of the book – and by Gary Price – the Cathedral’s Clerk of Works and modern day Tom Builder – for a Q&A session after his talk.”
Ken Follett writes “Many times I have been asked why Pillars has such a big impact. There is no simple answer, because a novel is so complex. But I come back again and again to the people who built the cathedrals. Those men and women were by modern standards, poor and ignorant. They lived in wooden huts and slept on the floor. Yet they created the most beautiful and awesome buildings the world has ever known. Human beings have the capacity to rise above mundane circumstances and touch the eternal. That is what Pillars is about and, in the end, I think that may be why it has so profoundly touched the hearts of so many readers for so many years.”
Tickets, £10.00 for the lecture and £17.50 for the lecture and reception with Ken Follett, David Oakes and Gary Price, are available online from www.salisburycathedral.org.uk and at Waterstones Salisbury from 7 February.
The special anniversary edition of The Pillars of the Earth is published by Pan in paperback on 30 January 2014 at £9.99. It is available from Waterstones and all good bookshops.
Read more about The Pillars of the Earth and Salisbury Cathedral connection here.
Salisbury Cathedral event: http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/news/meet-ken-follett-salisbury-cathedral-sunday-2-march (Posted By : Sarah Flanaghan)
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Salisbury Cathedral and Magna Carta 800th Anniversary 2015
Salisbury Cathedral, home to the finest of the four surviving original 1215 Magna Carta, will be taking a leading role in the 2015 celebrations marking the 800th anniversary of the historic and iconic document the legacy of which has been its enduring global influence. Magna Carta’s clauses on social justice form the cornerstone of modern democracy and liberty worldwide and are as pertinent today as they were 800 years ago.
Robert Key, chairman of Salisbury Cathedral’s Magna Carta 800th anniversary committee, said “Salisbury Cathedral is extremely proud to own the finest preserved of the four surviving original 1215 documents. We know how important the Magna Carta is to people from across the globe and what it represents for them. The 1215 Magna Carta is inscribed in the UNESCO ‘Memory of the World’ register, underlining the fact that the documents held by Salisbury Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral and The British Library are regarded amongst the world’s most significant documentary heritage.”
The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne, said “Plans are being advanced here at Salisbury Cathedral to commemorate the forthcoming 800th anniversary of Magna Carta by promoting the values and ideals that it represents. Our ambition is to present a wonderful mix of spiritual and secular celebrations, promoting justice and freedom in a practical sense, and running a full programme of learning and outreach events for people of all ages. We aim to inspire further activity in the years that follow by leaving a lasting national and international legacy.”
Salisbury Cathedral intends to re-display and re-present its Magna Carta in the newly-conserved Chapter House, safeguarding the document for the future and using the latest interpretation techniques to communicate Magna Carta’s historic background and modern significance to the many extra visitors it expects to welcome in 2015. It also hopes to conserve and repair the Cathedral’s medieval Cloisters where the Chapter House is located.
Plans for further celebrations are underway, and aim to include a lecture series chaired by the Dean of Salisbury featuring international speakers exploring topics inspired by Magna Carta. The Cathedral also has ambitions to present a Medieval Fair for all the family, a pageant involving hundreds of local people, a special concert, a Celebratory Eucharist and a week-long flower festival, as well as other events. Alongside this activity, the Cathedral’s education department will work closely with schools throughout the year to deliver curriculum-focused programmes supporting citizenship and history.
Salisbury Cathedral is working closely with partners to deliver its ambitious programme, these include: The British Library, Diocese of Salisbury, Lincoln Cathedral, Magna Carta 800th Committee/ Magna Carta Trust, Wiltshire Council, Dorset County Council, Salisbury City Council, Visit Wiltshire, UNESCO, and AGEAS Salisbury International Arts Festival.
Brief background information on Magna Carta 1215
Magna Carta is one of the most celebrated documents in English history, regarded as the cornerstone of English liberty, law and democracy, and its legacy has been its enduring worldwide influence. It was written in Latin, the language of all official documents of the period, on a single skin of vellum (calfskin). It consists of 63 clauses written on 76 tightly packed lines, written with the standard medieval time and space-saving abbreviations. It is one of the most celebrated documents in English history whose importance cannot be exaggerated. It is often claimed to be the cornerstone of English liberty, law and democracy and its legacy has been its enduring and worldwide influence. The critical importance of the charter is that it imposed for the first time detailed written constraints on royal authority in the fields of taxation, feudal rights and justice, and limited unjust and arbitrary behaviour by the king. Magna Carta has become an icon for freedom and democracy throughout the world. The other surviving copies are held by the British Library and Lincoln Cathedral.
Salisbury Cathedral Chapter House opening times to see Magna Carta 1215 are:
Monday-Saturday: 1 April – 31 October, 9.30am – 4.30pm, 1 November – 31 March, 10.00am – 4.30pm
Sundays: all year, 12.45pm – 4.30pm.
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