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 Suburbs, 3-10 miles from Lincoln, 11-20 miles from Lincoln

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.

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Magna Carta Events
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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.

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October 3, 2014

Lincoln on the Magna Carta Trail

Lincoln on the Magna Carta Trail

Lincoln features on the national Magna Carta trail as part of the 800th anniversary celebrations of the famous charter.

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April 23, 2014

Magna Carta Listed in England’s Hall of Fame

Magna Carta Listed in England’s Hall of Fame

The original four copies of Magna Carta, one of which is held in Lincoln, has been added to England's Hall of Fame which will be exhibited in London to celebrate St George's Day.

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