In commemoration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, Arundel Castle in West Sussex is to host a small exhibition exploring the role that the charter has played throughout its history.
Magna Carta’s famous clause that ‘To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right of justice’ came to be seen as the foundation of English Liberty and freedom in subsequent centuries – with Charles Howard, the 11th Duke of Norfolk, a keen supporter of this.
With his political ideals of liberty and justice in mind, the 11th Duke opted for a Gothic restoration of Arundel Castle in the 1790s, including a carved stone relief of King Alfred instituting Trial by Jury. The great Barons’ Hall at Arundel Castle was originally built by the Duke in commemoration of the Barons who forced King John to assent to Magna Carta. He also hosted a lavish party at Arundel Castle in 1815 to commemorate the 600th anniversary or Magna Carta.
Keen to maintain the castle’s reverence for Magna Carta, this year its Waiting Room Exhibition will be dedicated to the historic charter. The exhibition will contain letters, photographs and other material from the Duke of Norfolk’s Library and Archives illustrating the 11th Duke’s character, his restoration of the Castle, and his celebration of Magna Carta two hundred years ago.
Castle manager Bryan McDonald told ArtsCulture: “The significance of Magna Carta has not waned in the 800 years since its confirmation. It feels particularly fitting that Arundel Castle should commemorate its 800th anniversary, even if not on the same scale as Charles Howard’s celebrations of the 600th anniversary in 1815.
“We hope that our visitors will enjoy the opportunity to explore some of the treasures from Arundel Castle’s Archives and learn more about how Magna Carta influenced the Castle’s history.”
For more information about Arundel Castle and its events, visit www.arundelcastle.org.
(image: 11th Duke of Norfolk. Photo credit: Arundel Castle Trustees Ltd)
(from a press release)