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St Albans Cathedral bids a fond farewell to Magna Carta

Fri, 30 August 2013

Today saw the departure of an original Magna Carta which has seen unprecedented visitor numbers flock to the Cathedral since its arrival on 1st August.

Over 16,000 adults and children have visited the exhibition and seen the original Magna Carta which was installed to celebrate the 800th anniversary since the very first meeting took place at the Abbey which led to its writing.

An army of volunteers helped bring the history of Magna Carta to life at the place where it all began. Through workshops, family trails, lectures and interactive sessions children and adults alike have been taken on an historic journey. Demand for the Medieval Workshops sold out as youngsters mixed their own medieval ink and wrote with quills.

The Very Revd. Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans Cathedral said, ‘“It has been an enormous privilege to host Magna Carta. It has never been here before, but exactly eight hundred years ago on 4th August 1213 St Albans Abbey held the first of several meetings of bishops and barons which led to it being written. The crowds of people queuing to see it have testified to the interest and excitement it has generated in people of all ages. We are extremely grateful to the City Council, Lincoln Cathedral, our sponsors and the many volunteers who have very generously made this exhibition possible.”

Mayor of St Albans, Annie Brewster, said, “St Albans has certainly felt the Magna Carta effect as we have enjoyed many stunning inaugural events for the 800th Anniversary. I would like to congratulate everyone involved, particularly the team at the Cathedral who have created such a marvellous Magna Carta experience for the thousands of visitors who have patiently queued up to see it . It has been an honour to have this original 1213 copy on show in the City and it will be sad to see it leave us. Good luck to our sister Magna Carta cities for their celebrations leading up to 2015 anniversary of the actual sealing of the document at Runnymede.”

Anneliese Guerin-Letendre who came to see Magna Carta from Guildford said, “It was really worth coming. It is such a powerful statement about the communication of ideas - a connection with the past and a political document that still has resonance today.”

Reviews on Trip Advisor all hailed Magna Carta at the Cathedral as a huge success. One member described their visit as ‘A brilliant exhibition in a stunning building.’ Followers on Twitter have also increased as news of the exhibition spread.

As the Lincoln Magna Carta returns home, it will soon be on the road again as it heads to Bury St Edmunds for a new public exhibition.

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