Where is the Magna Carta?

Mar 5th, 2009, 03:44 PM
  #1  
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Where is the Magna Carta?

We are headed for London next week and my kids want to see the Magna Carta. Does anyone know where we can see it? The British Library says they have two, but the website does say if or where it is on display. There is an excellent online version, but the girls want to see the real thing.
jmcdo is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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I don't know where you could see one of the original copies in London. however, my husband and I did see one of the original copies in Salisbury at Salisbury Cathedral.
Marsha is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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We saw it at Salisbury Cathedral - I believe there are several copies of it - sorry I cannot help you with somewhere in London itself.
PRLCH is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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yk
 
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2 in British Library, 1 at Salisbury Cathedral, and 1 at Lincoln Cathedral.

Usually both copies are on display at British Library (there's a special room dedicated to the Magna Carta), but once in a while, only one is on display. I don't think they ever NOT put either copy on display, because of the dedicated room.
yk is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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You want to go to the Sir John Ritblat Gallery at the British Library. It's part of the permanent exhibit, and if I remember correctly there is a special little room dedicated to the Magna Carta (no 100% guarantee it will be on display when you visit though, same as any artifact at any museum)

http://www.bl.uk/whatson/permgall/treasures/index.html

If your kids are interested in looking at the Magna Carta, you should really take them to the British Library in any event- it's got all sorts of wonderful things on display and free admission to boot.
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Mar 5th, 2009, 04:39 PM
  #6  
yk
 
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Just to add a bit more info, of the 2 copies at the BL, one is in decent shape, but the other one was badly burnt. But the little room/gallery has other exhibits to see, plus an interactive video which you can "play" with to learn more about the history/background of Magna Carta.

The copy at Salisbury Cathedral is the best preserved. Unfortunately, the wax seal at the bottom of the Magna Carta was destroyed during WWII. The custodians were too rushed in safe-guarding it from bombing, and the wax seal broke at that time. (I learned this from talking to the docent at Salisbury Cathedral.)

I haven't seen the copy at Lincoln's Cathedral yet, it's on my list of things to do.

If you and your kids are so inclined, you can make a trip to Runnymede, not too far from Heathrow actually. It is now managed by the National Trust.
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main...s/w-runnymede/
yk is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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There is no one Magna Carta - like there's one Declaration of Independence. There were many originals signed at the time - there were a LOT of Barons - although many have been lost over the years and only 4 remain. I have never seen the British Library without at least one on display.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 09:49 PM
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Many, many Thanks! My fifth grader has been studying England this year. The Magna Carta and the Library are her "must sees" in London. The oldest wants to go to the Globe Theatre because she will be reading Shakespeare in her English class later this year. I want them to see the Rosetta stone and the British Museum's Egyptian wing. And grandma is voting for the Crown Jewels and tea at Harrods. We also hope to squeeze in the London Eye, a Harry Potter walk, and Billy Elliot. We don't have much time in London, so I need to map out our priorities ahead of time. Thank you for your help; I thought that Parliament had a copy on display! I would love to take them to Salisbury, but that will have to wait for another trip...
jmcdo is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 02:48 AM
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Re: Runnymeade. It's just a field. Don't expect any kind of museum or the like. There's a small monument elected by the American Bar Associaion and another small memorial to JFK (one acre of Runnymeade was given to the USA as a memorial to Kennedy).

Magna Carta is far more important in America than it is here. Don't ask me why, but it is.

If you do go to Runnymeade; climb the hill to the Commonwealth Air Memorial:

http://www.cwgc.org/admin/files/cwgc_runnymede.pdf

You can also walk from Runnymeade to Windsor Castle. But beware: the route is called The Long Walk and it's not called that for nothing.

ps Magna Carta; did she die in vain?
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 04:24 AM
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yk
 
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How long is the walk approx from Runnymede to Windsor? Is it scenic at all? One problem is getting to Runnymede by public transportation. Sounds like something our PalQ here would enjoy doing.
yk is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 05:10 AM
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"Sounds like something our PalQ here would enjoy doing."

Not a lot:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-let-down.cfmT
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 08:00 AM
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jmcdo, Not a lot of time left before your trip, but your youngsters might be interested in the online introduction to Magna Carta:
http://www.bl.uk/treasures/magnacarta/index.html

Here's their introduction to the treasures in the permanent gallery:

http://www.bl.uk/whatson/permgall/treasures/index.html

and the online version of the Taking Liberties exhibition at the BL (now closed, it had all sorts of other documents about liberties and rights over the centuries on show:

http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/takin...ies/index.html
PatrickLondon is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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If you can't fit the Harry Potter walk in, you can go to Kings Cross and visit Platform 9 3/4 on your own.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 12:04 PM
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The Reagan Library has one of the copies on display. We went a couple of weeks ago.

maitaitom is online now  
Mar 7th, 2009, 05:21 AM
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How long is the walk approx from Runnymede to Windsor?

Well it felt like the retreat from Stalingrad when I did it - but that was after a fairly long walk before. I'd guess about 3 miles.


Is it scenic at all?

Sort of. The way I did it was from the Air Memorial - through a coule of villages to the statue of King George III at the end of The Long Walk and then walked to the castle. It is a straight grassy avenue with ethe castle at the end. It's basically a park.
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Apr 7th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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Thanks for the responses on the Magna Carta! My kids LOVED the British Library. We could not believe all of priceless books and manuscripts that were in the Treasures room. My older daughter's jaw dropped when she read Jane Eyre in Charlotte Bronte's own hand and Persuasion. My younger one was fascinated by the musical scores and the Magna Carta. The Darwin exhibit was pretty funny. We could have stayed for hours but sadly they had to close! If your kids love to read, this is a great place to go. The gift shop is pretty good too.
jmcdo is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 06:40 AM
  #17  
yk
 
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Thanks for reporting back. I'm glad you all had a great time.
yk is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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Keep them kids away from Jane Bloody Austen. Just say no!
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Apr 8th, 2009, 12:48 PM
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Chumley, I had a Cuban refugee Spanish teacher in college who once expounded on the differences between North America and Latin America. He thought that because NA was founded by people looking for freedom rather than treasure and because NA government was founded on English Magna Carta and Common Law, it prospered accordingly. He also felt the armed forces draft for everyone was a good thing because then everyone was loyal to their government and not to their generals. He was quite passionate about it, and his thoughts have stayed with me over the years.
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Apr 8th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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If you don't get to the Magna Carta in London, try Washington.

Another copy of the Magna Carta is on display at the National Archives. It was installed there on loan from Ross Perot, but he sold it severalyears ago for $20 million. The new owner, David Rubinstein, has given it to the Archives on permanent loan.
http://www.archives.gov/press/press-...8/nr08-71.html
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