Lincoln's Magna Carta
Celebrating more than 800 years of Magna Carta

One of only four surviving original copies of the document is owned by Lincoln Cathedral and lives in Lincoln Castle.

Magna Carta Wall

Lincoln's Magna Carta
Celebrating more than 800 years of Magna Carta

One of only four surviving original copies of the document is owned by Lincoln Cathedral and lives in Lincoln Castle.

Magna Carta Vault

Lincoln's Magna Carta
Celebrating more than 800 years of Magna Carta

One of only four surviving original copies of the document is owned by Lincoln Cathedral and lives in Lincoln Castle.

Magna Carta

Lincoln is the only place in the world where you can find original copies of both the 1215 Magna Carta and the 1217 Charter of the Forest, one of only two surviving copies.

The two charters are owned by Lincoln Cathedral and are housed in Lincoln Castle, a seat for justice from its beginnings.

Magna Carta in Lincoln

Only four original copies of Magna Carta remain from when it was sealed by King John in 1215. King John is said to have been forced into its sealing by rebellious barons with the aim of limiting the power of the monarchy and upholding the rights of the individual.

Copies of the charter were spread to religious houses in England - Hugh of Wells, the then Bishop of Lincoln, was present at the sealing and made sure a copy was brought back to Lincoln Cathedral. Today it is on loan to Lincoln Castle and on display there.

A year later in 1216, King John died at Newark Castle (near to Lincoln) and nine-year-old Henry III took the throne. In 1217, under the guidance of William Marhsall - named the 'best knight that ever lived' - King Henry sealed the Charter of the Forest as a complementary charter to Magna Carta which re-established many rights for free men.

Please note: at certain times during the year Magna Carta is at rest and unavailable. Please see the Lincoln Castle website for details of which documents are on display and when.

Where to see Magna Carta
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Cathedral Quarter

Lincoln Castle

Lincoln Castle

Discover a world of rich history at Lincoln Castle, dating back to 1068 and home to one of only four surviving copies of Magna Carta.

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Cathedral Quarter

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

One of Europe’s finest Gothic buildings, once the tallest in the world, with stunning views from the roof and tower and intricate design inside.

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Cathedral Quarter

Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest

Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest

Two iconic and rare documents, dating to the early 13th century, on display in a subterranean vault inside Lincoln Castle.

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Magna Carta Events
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Citywide

Battles and Dynasties

May 27, 2017 to September 3, 2017
All Day
The Collection
Battles and Dynasties

A fascinating showcase of artefacts, from William the Conqueror to the present day. Includes Van Dyck's triple portrait of Charles I and Holbein's drawing of Ann Boleyn on loan from Her Majesty the Queen.

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December 18, 2015

Festival 800 Book Now on Sale

Festival 800 Book Now on Sale

A Magna Carta themed book - featuring poetry from Poet Lauteate Carol Ann Duffy and others - is now available to buy.

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October 2, 2015

The Lincoln Barons’ Legacy - Raising £167k

The Lincoln Barons’ Legacy - Raising £167k

The sculptures of the Lincoln Barons' Charter Trail were auctioned on October 1st and raised £167,000 towards the work of The Trussell Trust.

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August 13, 2015

Delve into the Great Exhibition

Delve into the Great Exhibition

A unique exhibition is taking place in Lincoln this summer and one of the organising team, Dr Marianne Wilson, has told us a bit more about it.

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