I know, its a bit of an overstatement, but Runnymede, a pasture just outside London, is where the Magna Carta was signed. I decided to pop over to see it. This is the first photo essay of the site itself. This site has historical connotations going back to the reign of Alfred the Great in the 7th century where regular meetings of the ruling council were held. This was the predecessor of the English 13th century parliament. But it was here in 1215 that King John sealed the Magna Carta under his name and gave rise to democracy as we know it now. The Magna Carta relates to the ideals of democracy, limitation of kingly power, freedom under law and rule of law itself. This photo essay is about the pasture itself when I came in and left along late in the evening with some bits and bobs on the ground level.
I drove up and parked at the parking spot, wore my hiking boots (first time, these are serious shoes, I am so happy with them, with my dodgy knees, these are beautifully made and I never have problems with walking all day in them..) and then got ready. Looking up, I was wondering what on earth were these? These are nests? strange nests. Then it twigged (pun intended). These are mistletoe growths. Fascinating history these bits have. Did you know they are considered to be the divine male essence? And this is what you use to hang on the roof so that you can kiss under it. Not sure why this tradition started way back in the 16th century, but hey, who cares, kissie poo..
I move to the left and walk past the Magna Carta Tea Room. This is the Urban Hanlon Broughton Memorial, designed by the great Sir Edwin Lutyens. I know of him because he was commissioned to draw up the plans for Delhi which became the new capital of India. He can arguably be called as the greatest British Architect and can be rated amongst one of the best in the world. Anyway, these two kiosks, memorials, piers, etc. are all part of the memorial to Urban Hanlon.
Two pillars on two sides of the road.
There are inscriptions on the two pillars.
In these Meads on 15th June 1215 King John at the instance of Deputies from the whole community of the Realm granted the Great Charter the earliest of constitutional documents whereunder ancient and cherished customs were confirmed abuses redressed and the administration of justice facilitated new provisions formulated for the preservation of peace and every individual perpetually secured in the free enjoyment of his life and property.
In perpetual memory of Urban Hanlon Broughton 1857 - 1929 of Park Close Englefield Green in the county of Surrey Sometime Member of Parliament These meadows of historic interest on 18th December 1929 were gladly offered to the Nation by his widow Cara Lady Fairhaven and his sons Huttleston Lord Fairhaven and Henry Broughton
Here is the tea room on the left in the kiosks, I popped in there to have a cuppa tea after the walk, Very nice, and some very nice cakes as well. The other kiosk is the office which oversees this place.
Couple of sculptures in the little garden next to the Thames (which is just behind those trees in the back)
Here is the meadow again. This is where thousands and thousands of knights, barons, earls, their servitors and and and were camped to ensure that the Magna Carta was signed. King John apparently didnt stay here, he rode in regularly from Windsor which isnt that far away.
An ancient tree.
I am sorry to state that this didnt speak to me at all. It was just a meadow and despite all the memorials and stuff, there wasnt anything that spoke to me. I looked around so many times figuring that at least something will say something but nope. Nothing. It was like a sign which said that something happened. Nothing more. I was really hoping to have felt something. Ah! well…