March 1, 2016
Magna Carta Benches mark St Albans link
Councillor Annie Brewster has presented St Albans with handmade wooden benches to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the City’s association with Magna Carta.
The curved, solid oak benches were commissioned by Cllr Brewster who served as the Mayor of St Albans City and District in 2013/14.
She handed over the gift at a presentation ceremony at the War Memorial in St Peter’s Street where the benches have been sited.
Magna Carta is regarded as one of the most important documents in history as it established the Rule of Law with its human rights and obligations.
St Albans was the scene of the first meeting, on August 4 1213, held to discuss the content of the peace agreement between the Barons, the Clergy and King John.
The benches were made by Karl Barowsky of Solid Oak Hardwood Furniture, Hartlepool, which supplies benches to many Royal Parks.
Among those who attended the presentation were James Blake, St Albans City and District Council Chief Executive, The Very Reverend Dr Jeffery John, Dean of St Albans, Howard Guard, Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Cllr Brewster, Jonathan Trower, High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Judge Andrew Bright QC, Mr Barowsky and Lord McNally of the Magna Carta Trust.
Cllr Brewster said: “The historic meeting in St Albans Abbey led the way to the 1215 sealing of Magna Carta two years later in Runnymede.
“Similarly, in my 2013 Mayoral year, St Albans again led the way holding the inaugural events at the start of two years of national and international celebrations to commemorate the 800th anniversary of this world changing document.
“It has been a long tradition for the Mayor to give a gift to the City and, in days gone by, it was often a piece of silver.
“I received numerous requests for more benches in the City Centre and, as the District Council has just completed a project to create a circular paved garden area in front of the recently restored War Memorial, it has been the perfect opportunity to fuse heritage and function.”
The benches have six distinctive cut-outs of the St Albans saltire shield and were unveiled on Friday 26 February.
Mr Barowsky said: “I was delighted to be asked to design some benches worthy of such an important City. What we have created is a one off design. You will not find benches like this anywhere else in the Country.”
Councillor Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Sport, Leisure and Heritage, St Albans City and District Council. Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01438 832255
Contact for the media:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 296130
E-mail: [email protected]