Wednesday, 2 July 2014
Magna Carta Visits the United States while Building Continues on the Magna Carta Vault
To all my American readers, do you know that our historical document known as Magna Carta is in your country at present. A exhibition opens today in Boston
Magna Carta means simply ‘big charter’. A charter is a legal document issued by the king or queen which guarantees certain rights. This charter has over 60 clauses, covering many areas of the nation’s life, including the right to a fair trial. It is one of several copies written immediately after King John agreed peace terms with his barons at Runnymede, which were sent around the country as evidence of the king’s decision. Salisbury Cathedral’s copy is one of four which survive from this original issue. It was written in Latin by hand, by an expert scribe, on vellum (preserved animal skin). Medieval documents like this were not signed, but sealed, and at the bottom of our Magna Carta you can see the marks where King John’s seal used to hang.
Magna Carta is famous as a symbol of justice, fairness, and human rights. For centuries it has inspired and encouraged movements for freedom and constitutional government in Britain and around the world. But when it was issued by England’s King John in June 1215 it was an attempt to prevent a civil war between the king and his powerful barons.
When this document returns, we here in Lincolnshire have great plans for it. My first image shows work in progress, and the second image shows a artist impression of the Magna Carta Vault will look like once completed.
For more images of the build click on the link
Historic Lincoln Trust have written of their plans
Magna Carta Vault has been designed by renowned architects, Arrol & Snell who have gained a reputation for high quality conservation work as well as for sensitive new-building designs in historic locations. The company designed the award winning Heritage Skills Centre at Lincoln Castle, which opened to critical acclaim in February 2013. As the first new building within the Castle for 150 years it was designed to be well-integrated into its historic setting.
Visitors will begin their journey to see Magna Carta by approaching the Pavilion entrance along a dedicated causeway, taking them over the Eastern Courtyard of the Victorian Prison. Once through the entrance the Great Charter Wall will come into sight. This striking feature wall will carry the text of Magna Carta with key Clauses defined in gold lettering, and the exhibition space will be enriched by graphic and colourful text, including the heraldic achievements of the Barons.
Magna Carta in the Round, an immersive audio visual interpretation will tell of the impact and influence of Magna Carta over 800 years. It will link Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest to the wider Castle site, with its Court House and Prisons through three themes: accountability, justice and power. Visitors will be surrounded by the story of Magna Carta depicted through a series of newly commissioned short films shown on large scale wrap-around screens.
Then visitors will arrive at the Vault room, a dedicated purpose built space to house Magna Carta. Here, in environmentally controlled conditions, visitors will be able to view three historically significant documents – Magna Carta itself, one of the two surviving copies of Charter of the Forest (1217), and a third document loaned from national or local archives. During 2015, when the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta will be celebrated in Lincoln, a 1225 Magna Carta on loan from the National Archives will be displayed.
As part of the 800th anniversary a celebratory programme of events is being planned in Lincoln. The Historic Lincoln Trust is working with partners on two key events – firstly, to devise and co-ordinate Lincolnshire’s Great Exhibition which will display a nationally important collection of pictures, documents and artefacts with a Lincolnshire connection; and secondly, a Three Choirs Festival involving Cathedral Choirs of Lincoln, Peterborough and Southwell.
Lincolnshire’s Great Exhibition will be based in the Usher Gallery and the Collection, as well as in the Medieval and Wren Libraries in the Cathedral, and in the Castle. The exhibition in the Collection will be focused on great Lincolnshire figures from Gilbert of Sempringham, who founded the only English monastic order in Lincolnshire in the 12th century, to Margaret Thatcher, our Country’s only female Prime Minster and the longest serving Prime Minister of democratic times. There will be items on loan from the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and many other important public and private collections, with a special section of the exhibition devoted to treasures, many of them largely unknown, in Lincolnshire private collections.