Lincoln Magna Carta

Information provided by Visit Lincoln

Information provided by Visit Lincoln

Lincoln is also the only place in the world where you can find an original copy of Magna Carta together with the Charter of the Forest, issued in 1217 to amplify the document and one of only two surviving copies. The two charters belong to Lincoln Cathedral and are housed in Lincoln Castle, a seat for justice from its beginnings.

The Magna Carta is known as the first charter to limit the power of the monarchy and to uphold the rights of the individual going on to form the foundations of democracy as we know it today. It was officially sealed by King John in 1215 under pressure from a group of rebellious barons

When King John died just a year later, copies of the charter were spread to religious houses in England including Lincoln and the city is now home to one of only four remaining copies. Hugh of Wells, the then Bishop of Lincoln, was present at the signing and made sure a copy was brought back to the Cathedral.


2015 signals the 800th anniversary of the document's sealing and Lincoln's Magna Carta will be an important part of the anniversary celebrations across the world.

In 2014, Lincoln's Magna Carta toured the United States, featuring on display at venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Library of Congress in Washington DC. It also joined the three other 1215 documents at a reunification event at the British Library, London, for the first time in 800 years.

Magna Carta 2019

A new home and visitor centre for Lincoln's Magna Carta has been built in Lincoln Castle to be ready in time for the anniversary in 2015. It opened on April 1st that year and included a 'wall of words' including each word of the document translated to modern English, an 'in-the-round' cinema screen to tell the document's story and the document itself on display.

Alongside the new visitor centre, events and public lectures in Lincoln will help celebrate this landmark and bring the world to the city to see one of only four remaining copies of the document. See details for these below.

You can find more information on the Magna Carta celebrations across the world on the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary website.

At The Rest, you are just a minute away from the Castle Square and entrance to the Castle, home to Lincoln's Magna Carta.