King John’s Palace lies at the heart of the former Royal Hunting Forest of Sherwood, but few people fully appreciate its global significance. In the early C13th, the Forest was a third the size of the current greater London area, while the Palace itself was a substantial Deer Park for hunting and pleasure. It was part of the lands of Nottinghamshire that King Richard gave to his brother John.
The Magna Carta 800 funding will enable us to create a 5 km interpreted Magna Carta trail that connects King John’s Palace to the Parliament Oak (one of the oldest trees in Sherwood) utilising existing Rights of Way. We will create 5 bespoke resource chests for schools (filled with fact sheets, work sheets, books and activities), that they can hire free of charge during and after the project. We see both of these elements as providing a great legacy for Magna Carta within Britain’s greatest Forest, which will last long into the future.
Our project will also allow us to facilitate 2 Time-Team style archaeological events, where the public can experience first-hand what it is to research and discover real history by taking an active part in the project. This will be led by our partners and archaeological experts for the site, Mercian Archaeology CIC.
The Magna Carta 800 money will enable schools to visit King John’s Palace and focus on Magna Carta as a dedicated theme. By improving the interpretation, developing exciting educational resources for schools and visitors alike, bringing people to the site, and informing them of other locations around the UK that tell more of the Magna Carta story, we believe that we can be a significant part of the MC 800 aspirations for this fascinating time in English and, indeed, world history.
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