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The role and significance of dozens of the most significant battlefields and sieges in the story of the fight for Magna Carta are to be highlighted by The Battlefields Trust and The Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee thanks to a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

About the Project:

The project will raise awareness of the battlefields and sieges associated with Magna Carta and the resulting Barons Wars. It will develop interpretation and educational resources to tell this story, including the development of an exciting battlefields trail that integrates with a nationwide Magna Carta trail. Look out for #MagnaCartaBattles for up-to-date information about this exciting project.

Click here to read a list of Magna Carta Battles compiled by the Trust.

The Trust has produced commentary on the Great Charter and conflict in its companion Battlefields Magazine. Click to download the following:

Battlefields 2014 Winter issue
Battlefields 2015 Spring issue

Click here to download a bespoke Battle of Lewes leaflet (featured below).

If you would like to get involved in your local area or be kept up to date on developments, please complete the form below:

Battlefields Interested In
 1214 Bouvines (battle) – France 1215 Norham (siege) 1215 Rochester (siege) 1216-17 Dover (siege) 1216-17 Sandwich (landing and naval battle) 1217 Lincoln (siege and battle) 1264 Lewes (battle) 1265 Evesham (battle) 1265 Peatling Magna (peasant action)  1215 Ely (sacked) 1215 Exeter (siege) 1215 Northampton (siege) 1216 Barnard Castle (siege) 1216 Berkhamsted (siege) 1216 Berwick (stormed) 1216 Odiham (siege) 1216 Windsor (siege) 1224 Bedford (siege) 1264 Barham Down (muster) 1264 Northampton (siege and battle) 1264 Rochester (siege) 1264-5 Pevensey (siege) 1266 Kenilworth (siege) 1267 Ely (siege)


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About the Magna Carta Armoury

battlefields-124x124As part of the legacy of the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary the Battlefields Trust has produced a toolkit, called the Magna Carta Armoury, to help support local groups and create new ones. This builds on many excellent resources that have been developed.

Many of these explore the meaning of the Magna Carta and its legacy and relevance today. These resources may take the form of exhibitions, walks, books and school materials.

The toolkit should assist communities, local groups, families and organised groups (such as schools, informal education groups, including guides or scouts) to create local Magna Carta or historical groups. These can research the wider historical story around the Magna Carta specific to their locale.

Traditionally the stories of the sieges and battles that led to and followed on from Magna Carta have often been confined to specialist circles.

As a legacy of the 800th anniversary year, the Trust believes it is important that the communities whose local areas were affected and involved with these events are supported, and provided with guidance and ideas about how to reveal, explore, examine and interpret their local histories.

Download the toolkit

The entire toolkit can be downloaded in parts. Each section offers advice on different topics.
The Magna Carta Armoury: Introduction
The Magna Carta Armoury Part 1
The Magna Carta Armoury Part 2
The Magna Carta Armoury Part 3
The Magna Carta Armoury Part 4
The Magna Carta Armoury Part 5
The Magna Carta Armoury Part 6
The Magna Carta Armoury Part 7
The Magna Carta Armoury Part 8

The toolkit

The toolkit provides guidance to individuals and groups so that they are able to engage with Magna Carta locally and sustain an interest in local history beyond the anniversary of June 2015.

The toolkit will consider how to create a group, and then to develop the skills needed to build a community action or awareness group that galvanises people to explore local history and the wider historic environment.

The toolkit is available as a series of PDFs, or as a whole document, hosted on websites that are easy for people to download and use. These can be printed off for use in a school or group.

Included in the toolkit is guidance on:

• How to create and develop a local Magna Carta or Battlefields Trust group
• Acquiring and using skills for research and investigation
• Research different methods and approaches
• How to distil, and unpick the resource material and stories that already exist
• How to ensure that the new research has attractive local angles
• Creating local maps and researching what already exists
• Event ideas and activities that highlight the themes of Magna Carta
• How to create interesting community and educational events
• Creating an education trail for the whole community
• How to engage and work with formal and informal education groups
• How the information gathered can be presented and used to support education

Creating a Magna Carta legacy via educational community development events

As part of the education package there will be communities events dedicated to skills training and embedding knowledge regionally, these will be known as educational community development events.

The events would build on the content of the toolkit to develop community groups further and create a skills base in local communities for exploring local history around the Magna Carta, and potentially other key historical events.

Any comments or feedback will be welcome, and enable the Trust to add to, and make further improvements. Please send these to:

[email protected]

The Magna Carta 800th Project acknowledges the help of the Battlefields Trust and the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee in providing these resources.

The text and research was by Paula Kitching, with an introduction by Edward Dawson. Design by Martin Hoare of the Historical Association.

Upcoming events:

26th: Lecture: ‘The Magna Carta Celebrations and Odiham Castle’ by John Champion, Chairman of the Odiham Society. At the Allen Gallery, Alton at 8.00 pm. Contact: Sheila John 01420 82802. Click here for more information.



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796 years ago tomorrow a reluctant, but resigned, and most definitely scheming King John was brought to Runnymede to put his seal to the Great Charter of Liberty – Magna Carta. John might have acceded to the Barons’ demands...

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