King’s Lynn mint returns during Magna Carta 800 weekend

800th anniversary of the sealing of King John's Magna Carta 'Special silver penny for the anniversary being made at King's Lynn Museum'LtoR, Ruth Farnan (Stories of Lynn Education and Engagement Officer), Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds (Cabinet Member for Culture), Oliver Bone (King's Lynn Museum Curator), Cllr Colin Manning and Julie Manning (Borough Mayor and Mayoress) ANL-150528-075859009
800th anniversary of the sealing of King John's Magna Carta 'Special silver penny for the anniversary being made at King's Lynn Museum'LtoR, Ruth Farnan (Stories of Lynn Education and Engagement Officer), Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds (Cabinet Member for Culture), Oliver Bone (King's Lynn Museum Curator), Cllr Colin Manning and Julie Manning (Borough Mayor and Mayoress) ANL-150528-075859009
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Visitors will be able to strike their own King John pennies to pay for stories during a medieval weekend to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

King John, who sealed the document which laid down the foundations for rights enjoyed by people today, has a special connection to Lynn and this will be celebrated on Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14.

King John granted Lynn a special charter in 1204 which allowed the town to rule itself locally, set up a merchants’ guild and freed it from paying taxes to the crown.

West Norfolk Council and Norfolk Museums Service have put together the fun-packed Magna Carta 800 weekend which will include a knight’s tournament, fire breathing, historical re-enactments and displays.

Lynn was one of the places to mint King John Pennies, which actually feature the face of his father, King Henry II, during the infamous monarch’s reign and production will start again.

West Norfolk mayor Colin Manning was the first to strike a coin in Lynn Museum on Wednesday.

Mr Manning, who is also the cabinet member for culture, said: “The striking of the King John Penny is a great way to mark the anniversary of the Magna Carta.

“It is a fine example of the ways that local people are able to access and participate in local history projects.”

Tuesday Market Place will be hosting the range of free medieval-themed entertainment during the weekend, including falconry displays, craft demonstrations, fire breathing and a proclamation by King John.

The monarch reputedly lost his treasure while trying to cross The Wash and to mark this a treasure trail will be sent up around the town.

Visitors will also be able to gain free entry to Lynn Museum where they will be able to strike a penny, which remained in use for 80 years.

Visitors will be able to wield replica equipment similar to that used in the Lynn mint.

Curator Oliver Bone’s museum features on a section of the coins where the moneyer’s name would be.

The team has been forced to do this as to use the actual medieval moneyer’s name on the coins would be classed as forgery.

Mr Bone said: “We are hoping for a nice busy weekend and lots of interested people to come in and make their coins.”

Lynn’s Tourist Information Centre at the Custom House is hosting a display on King John and the town until June 30.