March 5, 2015
Magna Carta Journey from Odiham to Runnymede
A Round 4 award from Magna Carta 800th will help fund an enduring legacy in the form of a Magna Carta Journey from Odiham Castle to Runnymede along the Basingstoke Canal, River Wey and River Thames. This recalls King John riding from Odiham on 10th June 1215 when he met baronial leaders and agreed the Articles of Barons. Although King John probably rode in a more direct line following the Old Travel Way, the Magna Carta Journey will be easy and simple to follow, avoiding road and railway crossings, and can be undertaken in sections using car or railway drop offs. As well as promoting healthy exercise and enjoyment of the lovely countryside of Hampshire and Surrey, the Journey will reinforce users knowledge of history and reinforce appreciation of the heritage of Magna Carta.
The grant from Magna Carta 800th will specifically fund the preparation of maps and guides along with an online virtual journey for those who cannot walk the trail or wish to view key features in advance. As well as Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede is also home to the Air Forces Memorial listing more than 20,000 RAF and Commonwealth air personnel who died during WW2 without a known grave. This is particularly appropriate for Odiham with its strong RAF connections and Brookwood Military Cemetery is also situated beside the Basingstoke Canal, close to the journey route. Another coincidence that reinforces the Odiham connection is the grave of William Addison VC who is buried in the civil cemetery at Brookwood and was born and educated in Odiham. A key aspiration is to prompt more people to enjoy a visit to Runnymede and reflect at the Runnymede Memorials. Full details will be shown on www.odihammagnacarta.com as the project progresses.