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Details of Magna Carta events starting in May 2015 are listed below, they can also be seen here.
This year, Faversham joins with cities and towns across the UK to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta by King John in 1215, a document widely regarded as England’s greatest export. This ‘Great Charter’, the foundation stone of democracy has brought freedom to people all over the world and has inspired a number of other documents including the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Faversham can boast a special right to be part of these commemorations as proud owner of an edition of Magna Carta dated 1300, the last reissue of the document presented to the ‘Barons of the Port of Faversham’ and with King Edward I’s seal. In addition to Magna Carta the town of Faversham owns a magnificent set of some 17 charters dating from 1252 to 1685 described as being ‘of world importance’.
A major programme of events including exhibitions, concerts talks and the Magna Carta weekend will take place in the town to mark the anniversary, details below
‘Magna Carta Rediscovered’ Exhibition – 23rd May to 28th June
The Alexander Centre
Open every day from 10am to 4.00pm (last admission 3.30pm). Late evening Thursday until 7.30pm.
A FREE exhibition
Faversham’s priceless and rarely displayed Magna Carta will be the centrepiece of this major exhibition which will tour Kent in 1215. Launching in Faversham the exhibition with interactive and graphic displays will interpret the importance of the medieval Magna Carta to today’s concepts of the freedom of the individual, democracy and society. The exhibition will also showcase a selection of the other charters.
‘Magna Carta Rediscovered’ is being staged with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Magna Carta 800, Faversham Town Council, The Alexander Centre Trust and Swale Borough Council.
On leaving Faversham, the exhibition will visit The Beaney, Canterbury; The Kent History and Library Centre, Maidstone; MaisonDieu, Dover, The Guildhall, Sandwich and Rochester Cathedral.
For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01795 594443
‘Protest, Democracy and the Law’ Exhibition – 23rd May to 28th June
The Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre
Fleur opening hours
A FREE exhibition
This exhibition will highlight the long history of protest in Faversham starting in 1300.
Events will include:
• Town versus Abbey, a disagreement in 1301
• The murder of Arden, Mayor of Faversham in 1551
• The story of Thomas Jennings, sentenced to death for burglary in 1783, but pardoned
• The Agricultural riots in the early 1830s
• Representation in Parliament in the 1800s and 1900s
• Local branches of global movements such as CND and Greenpeace
• ‘No to Foulness’ – an ongoing story
BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’ – 22nd May at 7.30pm
The Alexander Centre
Just weeks after the General Election and on the eve of the opening of ‘Magna Carta Rediscovered’ this promises to be a ‘lively’ evening. Register for tickets on www.thealexandercentre.com
The Alexander Centre Lecture Series
Every Thursday from 28th May at 7.30pm
Free lectures with Magna Carta theme.
Speakers include: Peter Tann, Professor Louise Wilkinson, Richard Eales, Dr David Starkey
Tickets via The Alexander Centre or www.thealexandercentre.com
Magna Carta Gala Concert – 6th June
St Mary of Charity Church,
Performances at 3.30pm and 7.30pm
The world premiere of ‘Toads on a Tapestry’ a cantata composed by David Knotts and written by John Gallas, celebrates Faversham’s Magna Carta and brings together more than 200 amateur and professional performers in a unique musical celebration. Faversham Voices and Faversham Young Voices will be joined by local soloists, NicoleTibbels, Michelle Harris and Alan Ewing with the Assembly Project Chamber Orchestra and Mission Brass.
Tickets via Faversham Music Club’s website www.favershammusicclub.co.uk
Faversham Magna Carta Weekend – 13th-14th June
The streets come alive with the sights and sounds of medieval England.
Entertainment will include: historical re-enactments and plays, medieval displays including Birds of Prey and archery, live music, street artists, hands on medieval arts and crafts, food, drink, traditional market stalls plus an evening banquet.
For further information www.faversham.org/magnacartaweekend
‘Trial by Jury’ Performed by Faversham Youth Choir, adult singers and Faversham Chamber Orchestra
The Assembly Rooms, Preston Street
Saturday, 13th June at 3pm and 6.30pm
Sunday, 14th June at 3pm
Directed by Ben Saul, ‘Trial by Jury’ is a one act comic opera lasting approx. 35-40 minutes. Written by Gilbert and Sullivan this funny opera received much praise from critics when first performed in 1875. Entrance to the performances is FREE with a retiring collection for Faversham Youth Choir and Faversham Chamber Orchestra.
The Mayor of Faversham Cllr David Simmonds with Sir Robert Worcester, Chairman of the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary - October 2013
King John about to seal the Magna Carta