Become a Magna Carta Expert in the School Holidays!

Mon, 22 July 2013

This summer, St Albans commemorates the 800th anniversary of the city’s role in the story of the Magna Carta. As part of the celebrations, St Albans Cathedral has a whole host of fascinating events for budding historians during the school holidays – including the once in a lifetime chance to see an original Magna Carta in St Albans.

In 1213, St Albans Abbey was the venue for the first meeting between the barons and Churchmen to discuss their grievances against King John. This historic meeting eventually led to the articles that became Magna Carta, sealed at Runnymede in 1215.

Throughout August, in addition to seeing the Magna Carta at the Cathedral, children will be able to take part in workshops, watch live demonstrations from bowmen and calligraphers and explore fascinating family trails.

Steve Clarke, Education Officer at St Albans Cathedral, said, “We are thrilled to be a part of the anniversary celebrations and to be able to offer local families the rare chance to see an original Magna Carta. We are looking forward to welcoming children of all ages to our workshops and trails which really help to bring the Magna Carta story to life.”

St Albans Cathedral Magna Carta Events for Younger Visitors

Magna Carta Children's Summer Workshop

Dates: 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th August Time: 11.00 & 14.00 Sessions
At this special event children will see the Magna Carta and learn all about the everyday life of the monks who lived in St Albans Abbey at this historic time.

Children's activities include:

  • seeing the Magna Carta
  • mixing and making their own medieval ink
  • copying out part of the Magna Carta
  • illustrating their work with a Coat of Arms
  • wax stamping their work in a medieval style!

Suitable for ages 7-11.
Workshops take place at 11.00 and 14.00. Sessions last 90 minutes.

Tickets: £4.00 - available from the Cathedral Bookshop or call 01727 890217.

Pre-booking advised.

Magna Carta Family Discovery Morning - Make Your Mark

Date: Thursday 1st August Time: 10.00 - 12.30

On the day the Magna Carta actually arrives in St Albans, we will be celebrating the first meeting about Magna Carta held at the Cathedral 800 years ago. Following a fascinating trail, children can explore the Cathedral and learn fascinating facts about one of the most celebrated documents in history.

Suitable for ages 3-11. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

FREE - donations gratefully received.

Family Discovery Mornings also take place on: 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th August.

Magna Carta Medieval Skills: Talks & Demonstrations

Find out what life was like in the 13th Century. Demonstrations include:

Bow making by Jim Rose (10th/11th August)

Calligraphy sessions by Rosemary Stephens (17th/25th August).

Sheepskin parchment making by Paul Wright of William Cowley (25th August - 1.00pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.00pm)

A rare opportunity to see this traditional skill in action, as used to make the Magna Carta parchment 800 years ago. William Cowley are considered the world’s finest vellum and parchment makers, used to preserve our national historic and royal documents.

And throughout August, families can see the Magna Carta itself – under 16s entry free when accompanied by a paying adult.

The Magna Carta in St Albans

Dates: Saturday 3rd - Thursday 29th August

A once in a lifetime opportunity to see an original 1215 Magna Carta, on loan from Lincoln Cathedral. Includes a special exhibition explaining the importance of St Albans Abbey in the Magna Carta story. Viewing times vary – see website for details.
Tickets: Advance Booking - Adults £3.00; Concs £2.00;
On the door - Adults £4.00; Concs £3.00;
U16 free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Tickets: available from or on the door.

Full details can also be found at To see all events taking place in the city as part of the Magna Carta Festival go to:

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