Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Lincons Magna Carta

I've been putting off this moment since mid late April.
My wife and I went, for what was for me a life long ambition, to see New Zealand. We were due to be away for exactly 28 days but we got caught up in the Icelandic volcano ash problems and were forced to stay longer than expected in Singapore. On arrival back in the UK, I quickly realised that my life was to take a major change. My wife and I decided that we must separate!
Eventually, I will present our trip to New Zealand but first I want to talk about the Magna Carta. Friends and family will know that I don’t ‘Do History’ but on a recent trip to Lincoln with Imac we visited Lincoln Castle.
The castle is very near Lincoln Cathedral and both were approached up a serious hill from the city centre. The castle was used as a court and prison with many being executed on the ramparts. The history of the site spans the centuries from AD60 to the present day. (more details )
One of the exhibits there today is the Magna Carta and it is widely held responsible for the Constitutional Laws of not only Great Britain but those of the United States and many more nations.

Lincoln Cathedral with downhill Lincoln to the right by the red bricked building with coffee shop s on route. The castle is behind the camera

I had heard of the Magna Carta but did not perceive its relevance in today’s world, nor did I know what it looked like. As I went round the fascination exhibition, I had anticipated a large book but surprise, surprise, a piece of parchment a little larger than A4 size. Photography of the document was banned as they want to ensure its existence for centuries to come. It is one of only four surviving originals, sealed by King John after his meeting with the Barons at Runnymede in 1215 and is housed in the Victorian Prison Building of the Castle. The prison cells hold a very good interpretative exhibition and are well worth exploring.
View of the Prison Building from the casle walls with the cathedral in the background

So anyone planning a visit to Lincoln will almost certainly have the Cathedral on their list of things to do. Allow a minimum of another hour and visit the castle while you’re up there!
Special thanks must go to Imac for being there and also to Denise of An English Girl Rambles for the chats we’ve had via email. Thank you!