Sign up for email inspiration, tips and news for your next visit to Lincoln

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.

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 on 15th June 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. On 6th November 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. Only two of these documents survive today.

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
View List View Map

Cathedral Quarter, City of Lincoln

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.

Find out more

Cathedral Quarter, City of Lincoln

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.

Find out more

Cathedral Quarter, City of Lincoln, Lincoln Suburbs, 3-10 miles from Lincoln, 11-20 miles from Lincoln, Villages & Countryside

The Stephen Langton Trail

The Stephen Langton Trail

Follow this 16.5 mile walking trail from the birthplace of Archbishop Stephen Langton, key in the sealing of Magna Carta, to the historic city of Lincoln.

Find out more

Magna Carta Events
View List View Map

There are no upcoming events.


Learn More

September 21, 2017

What is the Charter of the Forest?

What is the Charter of the Forest?

The Charter of the Forest, sealed on 6th November 1217, is an incredibly important medieval document with a history woven into the city of Lincoln.

Read more

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.

Read more

June 2, 2015

What is Magna Carta?

What is Magna Carta?

History writer and chair of trustees at Lincoln Drill Hall Phil Hamlyn Williams shares with us the importance of Magna Carta and its links with Lincoln.

Read more

Check Availability


We'll help you to find the best available rates, comparing LateRooms, Booking.com and more...

Cathedral/Castle Joint Ticket 1215 Today

Don’t want to miss a thing?

Subscribe for tips and advice on our newsletter

Sign Up