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Magna Carta Walking Tours: Liberty, Justice and Power in Salisbury.

During 2015 we are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. Here in Salisbury we are particularly proud that our own Magna Carta is considered to be the best of the originals. Salisbury Cathedral also has the tomb of William Magna Carta ToursLongespée, Earl of Salisbury, half brother of King John. Longespée is specifically mentioned in Magna Carta as an advisor to King John.  Richard Poore, Bishop of Salisbury is described as a witness in the 1225 re-issue of Magna Carta on display in Washington & Canberra. In addition Salisbury has been the scene of many historic visits by the Kings and Queens of England over the last thousand years. This walk will look at the changes to liberty, justice and power, both in Salisbury and throughout the kingdom, over many centuries.

We shall see how the liberty of the people of Salisbury has been influenced by harsh Norman Kings, Magna Carta, powerful Bishops, cruel civil wars, severe punishments, a Rotten Borough and unjust laws. This walk is a journey from absolute medieval monarchy to the constitutional monarchy of today. From feudal law to parliamentary law. From royal power to people power.

Please see  Magna Carta Walk Flyer 2014 (2).pdf for more details

6th, 13th, 20th, 27th June 2015

Walks start at 2.00pm and last for about 90 minutes.

Tickets £6.00 each and can be bought in advance from Salisbury Information Centre Telephone: 01722 342860

The Walks do NOT include entry to Salisbury Cathedral Magna Carta Exhibition.

For more information about these walks visit Salisbury’s Blue Badge Guides website

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Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours
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Best-preserved Magna Carta goes on show at Salisbury Cathedral for Magna Carta 800

Salisbury Cathedral – home to the finest preserved of the four original copies of Magna Carta – celebrates the 800th anniversary of its signing

a photo of bottles and quills on a table inside a cathedral

Quills and ink at the ready as Salisbury Cathedral prepares to reveal the Magna Carta© Ash Mills

Salisbury Cathedral’s Magna Carta is the finest preserved of the four original copies and it is celebrating the 800th anniversary of its signing by King John at Runnymede with a fitting new display that promises to explore both its history and its relevance today.

Promising a “thrilling experience” that will take visitors on a journey of liberty and justice through the Cathedral, its medieval cloisters and the stunning 13th century Chapter House, the centrepiece will be the original Magna Carta housed in a new display.

The immersive exhibition, called Magna Carta: Spirit of Justice, Power of Words, is designed to bring to life the history and the contemporary relevance of this extraordinary document, which is often seen as representing the foundation of modern human rights and the justice system we recognise today.

Tactile hands-on activities will include a medieval sword, quill pens and a parchment that visitors can try out to get a feel of medieval life, while touch screen displays will allow people to explore the continued fight for justice and human rights in the 21st century.

// Best-preserved Magna Carta goes on show at Salisbury Cathedral for Magna Carta 800 | Culture24// // // // // // // // //

“So many of the liberties that we hold dear today – and perhaps sometimes take for granted – can be traced back to Magna Carta,” said The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne.

“Despite its age the document has clearly gained in relevance for a modern audience, and there is a tangible sense of anticipation as we open this new exhibition and launch the 800th anniversary celebrations in Salisbury.”

Re-housed in a dramatic new enclosure, the cathedral’s copy of Magna Carta is joined by manuscript treasures from the archive together with a new interpretation of the ornate medieval frieze, which visitors can follow round the Chapter House.

More is revealed about the historical characters linked to Salisbury who shaped the creation and early years of Magna Carta, while contemporary reflections on the meaning of Magna Carta are provided through an thought-provoking documentary made in partnership with local students and Bournemouth University.

With the accent firmly on encouraging a response, the exhibition has been designed to appeal to families and younger audiences as well as the Cathedral’s many international visitors, using media installations, simple interactives, objects and stylish graphics.

“I know that the many visitors who will come to Salisbury Cathedral to experience this exhibition will be excited and engaged by what they find,” added the Very Rvd Osborne. “I hope they will go away inspired by Magna Carta’s enduring values of fairness, universal rights and justice.”

A wide-ranging programme of supporting events has been arranged by the Cathedral during 2015.

Link source: http://www.culture24.org.uk/history-and-heritage/art519103-the-best-preserved-magna-carta-goes-on-show-at-salisbury-cathedral-for-magna-carta-800

Click here for Salisbury Guided Tours

  • You can see Magna Carta: Spirit of Justice, Power of Words from February 28 2015.

Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours
http://www.StonehengeTravel.co.uk

Magna Carta and beyond: stepping back in time in Salisbury

In 2015, Salisbury will celebrate Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary in what promises to be a banner year for the city. This ancient document is one of many treasures in this charming English city, from prehistoric stone circles through to medieval pubs and stately homes. Exploring Salisbury allows you to unravel 5000 years of history. These six experiences are guaranteed to spirit you back in time.

Celebrate Magna Carta, a milestone for human freedom

Salisbury is packed with history. Image by Barry Winiker / Getty Salisbury is packed with history. Image by Barry Winiker / Getty

The ‘Great Charter’ is lauded worldwide as a symbol of freedom and justice – quite astonishing for an 800-year-old document concerning the rights of English noblemen. Sealed on the banks of the Thames in 1215, the Magna Carta curbed the powers of the English throne, gave land-owning rights to noblemen and laid down the right to a fair trial. Barons enjoyed the benefit of these new laws, while peasants remained as downtrodden as ever. But despite this, the Magna Carta has become a global inspiration, in particular the oft-quoted words, ‘No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled’. It has been credited as a predecessor to the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

True enthusiasts are waiting to hear if they will be part of the lucky few to see all four copies at a one-off exhibition in London’s British Library (decided by ballot). But Salisbury’s copy – the best preserved of the four – continues to be part of a grand display in Salisbury Cathedral’s Chapter House, and will be the focus of a calendar of celebrations, talks and choral music during 2015.

One of the pleasures of visiting Salisbury’s Magna Carta is the enthusiasm of the volunteer guides. Check visiting hours on salisburycathedral.org.uk – avoid 3 February 2015, when Magna Carta will be on tour in London.

Climb the spire of a medieval masterpiece

Salisbury Cathedral boasts the tallest spire in Britain. Image by Michael Day / CC BY 2.0 Salisbury Cathedral boasts the tallest spire in Britain. Image by Michael Day / CC BY 2.0

There’s much more than Magna Carta to admire at Salisbury Cathedral. This grandiose construction boasts England’s largest cloisters and cathedral close, and harbours a rather singular curio, the world’s oldest working clock (dating to 1386). Most significantly, Salisbury Cathedral boasts the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom (a cloud-piercing 123m high). Those with a head for heights – and a stomach for narrow spiral staircases – mustn’t miss a guided tour of the tower for views over the rolling hills of Wiltshire.

Detail from Salisbury Cathedral. Image by Anita Isalska / Lonely Planet
Detail from Salisbury Cathedral. Image by Anita Isalska / Lonely Planet

Visitors with a taste for the days of lordly squabbles and tight-bodiced dames will find other traces of medieval Salisbury throughout the city. It’s impossible to miss the elaborate stone Poultry Cross in the market square, and look out for the coat of arms on the North Gate.

Salisbury Cathedral is open daily. Tours of the tower take 90 minutes and allow limited numbers, so book a slot early on salisburycathedral.org.uk.

Visitors with a taste for the days of lordly squabbles and tight-bodiced dames will find other traces of medieval Salisbury throughout the city. It’s impossible to miss the elaborate stone Poultry Cross in the market square, and look out for the coat of arms on the North Gate.

Salisbury Cathedral is open daily. Tours of the tower take 90 minutes and allow limited numbers, so book a slot early on salisburycathedral.org.uk.

Explore the silent city of Old Sarum

For an alternative view of Salisbury Cathedral, step out on the ramparts of Old Sarum. This Iron Age hill fort, slightly north of the city centre, holds the key to Salisbury’s early history. Old Sarum was established in 3000BC, and for centuries was a castle stronghold with a thriving community. Old Sarum’s significance as a military outpost ended abruptly in the 13th century when its bishop was given permission to build a new cathedral in what is now modern Salisbury. People fled Old Sarum to seek their fortunes in the new city, while Old Sarum’s cathedral was gutted and torn down. The result is a site frozen in time: the old cathedral is a ghostly outline, and the windswept ramparts jealously overlook Salisbury.

Roaming this exposed site is best reserved for a sunny day. Old Sarum is a 10-minute drive (or short bus ride on the 8 or X5) from Salisbury city centre. Plan your visit on english-heritage.org.uk

Hail the solstice at Wiltshire’s stone circles

Few sights inspire such a mixture of bewilderment and awe as Stonehenge, the world-famous circle of boulders on Salisbury’s outskirts. Now known to have been transported by labourers from southwest Wales (250km from the site) and assembled around 2400BC, the motivation for this incredible feat remains obscure. Historians’ best guess is that it was an ancient burial site and then a monument to celebrate the winter solstice (pagan worshippers gather at the site to this day). Considering the various theories about Stonehenge is part of the fun, so allow time for the recently upgraded visitors’ centre at the site.Avebury Stones. Image by Gordon Robertson / CC BY 2.0 Avebury Stones. Image by Gordon Robertson / CC BY 2.0

These millennia-old monoliths certainly draw the crowds, but further north lies a site vaster and more ancient than Stonehenge. The Avebury Stones stretch back even further (to an estimated 2850BC) and form Europe’s largest stone circle. The three rings making up this Neolithic monument are thought to have been the focus of rituals warding off nature’s crueller whims. Today, a chapel and a pub, the Red Lion Inn, are encircled by these ancient stones.

Visit Stonehenge and Avebury as a combined day-trip from Salisbury. Stonehenge is a 20-minute drive north of Salisbury, and Avebury another 35 minutes by car from there. Tours from London are also available.

Swoon at 18th-century stately homes

Want to explore a more genteel era? Salisbury boasts an array of period buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the jewel in the crown is Mompesson House. With its stone exterior, iron gates and tranquil walled gardens, Mompesson House is so unabashedly English that it was chosen as a filming location for the 1995 movie Sense and Sensibility.

Exploring the interior is evocative of Georgian England – you can almost detect a whiff of smelling salts. You’ll sidle past delicate plasterwork and period furniture, glance at 18th-century goblets and mother-of-pearl jewellery boxes… anyone else need their corset loosening?

Mompesson House rewards eco-friendly travellers: mention that you arrived by bike or public transport and enjoy a discount in their tea room. Plan your visit at nationaltrust.org.uk.

Quaff ales like a medieval peasantiThe Cloisters, Salisbury. Image by Charles DP Miller / CC BY 2.0 The Cloisters has open fires and Sunday roasts. Image by Charles D P Miller / CC BY 2.0

Time travel is thirsty work. Luckily Salisbury’s pubs have rich enough folklore to keep the history flowing along with the ale. Start at the Haunch of Venison: not only does this pub, dating to 1320, conceal secret passageways (supposedly wending their way to the cathedral), it’s also the site of a mischievous ghost. Another 14th-century drinking haunt is Grade II-listed The Cloisters (cloisterspubsalisbury.co.uk), a winter favourite for its open fires and Sunday roasts. Finally, the Ox Row Inn (theoxrowinn.co.uk) is a relative youngster, pouring brews since the 16th century. Some of the old-world charm has been polished out of it during recent makeovers, but its black and white timbered exterior and ale selection make it a fine stop on a historic pub crawl.

Want to go right to the source? Book a visit to a’Beckett’s Vineyard (abecketts.co.uk) or Wadworth Brewery (wadworthvisitorcentre.co.uk). 

Make it happen

Salisbury is an easy day-trip by train from London (1½ hours) or Bristol (from 1 hour 10 minutes) but you’ll need your own wheels if you want to explore the Wiltshire countryside. Basing yourself in Salisbury for a couple of days allows plenty of time to explore the sights and make the most of pubs and local eats. Sticky your fingers over cream tea at Howard’s House (howardshousehotel.co.uk), splurge on confit duck at local favourite Charter 1227 (charter1227.co.uk) or go for sophisticated contemporary Indian at Anokaa. If you want sumptuous lodgings in the city centre, choose St Ann’s House or Milford Hall. For rustic atmosphere and river views, go with the Legacy Rose & Crown Hotel.

Full article in the excellent Lonely Planet Guide Book: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/europe/travel-tips-and-articles/magna-carta-and-beyond-stepping-back-in-time-in-salisbury

Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours
http://www.StonehengeTravel.co.uk

Magna Carta tourist trail unveiled by Visit Wiltshire.

A NEW two-day tourist trail has been announced by VisitWiltshire and Salisbury Cathedral to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015.

Magna Carta Trail

The new Salisbury and Wiltshire trail includes Salisbury Cathedral and Magna Carta on day one and the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and the Baron Town of Trowbridge on day two.

The Wiltshire trail is one of six special trails, each covering different aspects of the Magna Carta story.

Salisbury Cathedral is home to the best preserved of only four remaining copies of the original 1215 Magna Carta which will be re-displayed in an interactive exhibition for 2015.

Robert Key, chairman of Salisbury Cathedral’s Magna Carta Celebrations Committee, said: “This trail is great news and will bring many visitors to Wiltshire and to Salisbury Cathedral to see the finest preserved original Magna Carta in its anniversary year.

“We are looking forward to making those visitors a part of 2015’s 800th anniversary celebrations with a great programme of events and a wonderful new exhibition around Salisbury Cathedral’s Magna Carta.”

On June 15 it will be exactly 800 years after King John added his seal to Magna Carta, as presented to him by the barons at Runnymede on the Thames near Windsor.

The trails were commissioned by the 800th Commemoration Committee of the Magna Carta Trust to encourage visitors to the Magna Carta towns as history, heritage and anniversary tourism become increasingly popular themes for travellers.

Sir Robert Worcester, chairman of the Magna Carta Trust’s 800th anniversary committee said: “They will be colourful guides for the thousands of visitors who will converge on England from around the world next summer, wishing to explore the areas which are part of the Magna Carta story. Doing all six trails will take visitors just over a fortnight, and immerse them in 800 years of history.”  Article by: by Alex Rennie, Salilsbury Journal Reporter

Magna Carta 2015

Salisbury Cathedral is extremely proud to be home to the finest of the four surviving original 1215 Magna Carta. It plans to take a leading role in the 2015 celebrations marking the 800th anniversary of the historic and iconic document.

Download a copy of the Magna Carta 800 trails leaflet

For more information about the trails go to www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/magnacarta.

More News on this story:

Salisbury Cathedral has been awarded £415,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015. Click here

The Stonehenge Travel Company are operating guided tours of Stonehenge and Salisbury throughout 2015 featuring the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.
www.StonehengeTravel.co.uk

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.

Magna Carta

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.

ENDS

Link: http://www.englishcathedrals.co.uk/news/2013/08/salisbury-cathedral-and-magna-carta-800th-anniversary-2015/
Link: http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/news.php?id=712
Link: http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/ideas-and-inspiration/salisbury-cathedral-and-magna-carta-p130493
Link: http://www.stonehengetravel.co.uk/stonehenge-salisbury-guided-tours.htm

The Stonehenge Travel and Tour Company, Salisbury
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