‘Magna-ificent’ celebrations

Magna Carta 800 day on the Tuesday Market Place ANL-150615-063509009
Magna Carta 800 day on the Tuesday Market Place ANL-150615-063509009

Thousands of visitors descended on Lynn at the weekend to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.

More than 800 people visited Lynn Museum and hundreds more flocked to the Tuesday Market Place to step back to medieval times.

Councillor Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “This was a really important anniversary and we were keen to mark it in King’s Lynn.

“During the weekend over 800 people visited Lynn Museum, with more than 400 minting their own King John Penny as a memento of the day.

“The unseasonable weather didn’t stop people enjoying the energetic displays in the Tuesday Market Place.

“It was particularly pleasing to see so many children enjoying learning about the Magna Carta and connecting what they’d learned at the museum to the displays in Tuesday Market Place.

“Hopefully, this will inspire them to find out more about our fascinating history.

“Overall, I think people really enjoyed the event and it certainly brought plenty of medieval colour to a rather grey weekend.”

Mrs Nockolds added: “The Magna Carta had a huge impact upon shaping the rights and freedoms we enjoy today and our fun family event celebrated this and King’s Lynn’s particular links with infamous King John.”

Falconry displays, a knights’ tournament, historical re-enactments and the chance for visitors to strike their own King John pennies were among the activities on offer during two days of celebrations in the town centre.

The weekend was organised as part of the council’s Stories of Lynn project and coincided with an exhibition at the town’s tourist information centre, which will continue until June 30.

As well as enjoying the displays, visitors were able to learn more about King John’s Magna Carta and his associations with Lynn – which was one of the places which minted King John pennies during his reign – at Lynn Museum.

People were also able to strike their own King John pennies as a souvenir, which could be used to pay a storyteller based in Baxter’s Plain, who shared tales of ancient kings and saints.

And there was a treasure trail around the town, along with the ringing of a quarter peal of bells to coincide with the national celebrations.

Borough mayor Colin Manning led a toast in celebration of the rights and freedoms that the Magna Carta secured.

The Magna Carta 800 event is just one of the free public events organised by the West Norfolk Council this year.

The next event, Forties Lynn: Life on the Home Front, will be held on Sunday, July 19.

Full details are available at www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/events