Lincoln Castle

Visit to Lincoln Castle – Magna Carta

Members of the team set off for Lincoln Castle full of excitement and anticipation at seeing this world changing document.

David P J Ross Magna Carta Vault

David P J Ross Magna Carta Vault

The beautiful historic city of Lincoln holds one of only four copies of Magna Carta in existence, it is on permanent loan from the Cathedral and is held in the newly commissioned David P J Ross Magna Carta Vault.  The Vault sits adjacent to the newly restored Victorian prison housed in the Castle walls.

As we arrived at the Castle we were greeted by very enthusiastic staff and several volunteers.  We were able to discuss the importance of Magna Carta and its impact on the world today.

Lincoln Castle is very privileged to be the custodians of this incredibly important document and piece of history, hence the reason why they have had the state of the art vault built.

Upon entering the vault we were really struck and reminded of the significance of Magna Carta, both at the time of creation and its enduring importance over the last 800 years up to the present day.

The first thing to greet us was the wall of shields, the twenty five Barons that stood suriety to Magna Carta have their shields displayed here. Being able to see these and the names of the Barons really bought home how these twenty five men literally put their necks on the line, because they wanted to see a fairer better and more prosperous England for all.

There is a stone wall which has been carved in the modern translation, this is remarkable to see.

Within the vault there is a cinema which shows a twenty minute documentary style film, which gives the viewer a real flavour of the events leading up to Magna Carta and King Johns arrogance, resistance to acknowledge and commitment to change.  Following on from this is a short five minute documentary which discusses the aftermath of Magna Carta and how various Monarchs and leaders acted upon it.  Magna Carta and what is represented is just as important now as it was 800 years ago.

Just to note that the following chapters of Magna Carta are still law today:

  1. We have, in the first place, granted to God, and by this Our present Charter have confirmed, for Us and Our heirs forever, that the English Church shall be free, its rights undiminished, its liberties unimpaired; and that We wish this to be observed appears from the fact that We of Our own free will, before the outbreak of the disputes between Us and Our barons, granted and confirmed by Charter the freedom of elections, which is considered most important and necessary to the English Church. We have also granted to all the free men of Our kingdom, for Us and Our heirs forever, all the liberties underwritten, to have and to hold to them and their heirs of Us and Our heirs.
  2. The City of London shall enjoy all her ancient liberties and free customs, both by land and water. We also decree and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns and ports shall have all their liberties and free customs.
  3. No free man shall be taken, imprisoned, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgement of his equals and by the law of the land.
  4. To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice.

After watching the two films we entered the room which houses Lincolns copy of Magna Carta.  It is surprising how such and unimposing document had and has such influence over our history and our life’s today.

Manorial Counsel Limited would encourage people to visit Lincoln Castle to see Magna Carta, if not Lincoln then there are two copies held at the British Library and one at Salisbury. We were really pleased to see a party of school children from the United States visiting, and it was a joy to observe their interest and enthusiasm.

To find out more about Lincoln Castle and their copy of Magna Carta visit their website here >

To find out more about events surrounding the 800th anniversary >

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