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Bury St Edmunds: Book a place to ensure you get a chance to see the Magna Carta

13:10 03 March 2014

Margaret Charlesworth and Simon Pott are pictured in the Abbey Gardens, Bury. They are part of the local Magna Carta 800th committee.

Margaret Charlesworth and Simon Pott are pictured in the Abbey Gardens, Bury. They are part of the local Magna Carta 800th committee.

MASSIVE interest is being generated in an historic document which is due to go on show in west Suffolk later this year.


There is likely to be thousands of people casting their eyes over the original 1215 copy of the Magna Carta and from today bookings open with places expected to be snapped up fast.

The document is being loaned by Lincoln Cathedral and will be on display at St Edmundsbury Cathedral throughout May. dmission will be free but places must be booked in advance.

The Magna Carta 800 Committee’s project is being spearheaded by the Bury Society, which is working with St Edmundsbury Cathedral and St Edmundsbury Council to deliver the exhibition as well as an ambitious light and sound show which is planned for October. It is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Margaret Charlesworth who chairs the Magna Carta 800 Committee said: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to have the Lincoln copy of Magna Carta here in Bury St Edmunds and it’s taken a couple of years of hard work and negotiation to put on the exhibition.

“I advise everyone who wants to see it to book early because places will be strictly limited with just 30 people allowed through the doors for each public viewing session.”

Bookings open today and can be made online via

Bury has a significant role in the history of the Magna Carta.

It is believed that in November 1214 a group of 25 barons and the Archbishop of Canterbury met at the Abbey to swear an oath to force King John to put his seal to the Charter at Runnymede the following year.

The town’s Magna Carta 800 celebrations will continue throughout the summer. The two main projects have a total value of just over £101,000 and £86,400 has been awarded as an “Our Heritage” grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

An education programme in April and May will encourage pupils from schools in the town, especially at Key Stage Two, to see the Magna Carta in the town and understand its importance and relevance to them in 2014. The programme is also supported by the town centre business improvement organisation ourburystedmunds which delivers the Business Improvement District (BID) for the town.

The Bury Society was formed in 1971 as a charity which aims to ensure that Bury St Edmunds continues to grow and prosper while remaining a beautiful place to live, work or visit.

And the committee is looking for sponsors to help celebrate the anniversary. Contact Mrs Charlesworth on 01284 763073.



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