The People's Pageant

Artist Estella Castle at Magna Carta Memorial Runnymede
Published : 03 Apr 2019 Last update : 07 Jun 2019

On 16 June 2019, Runnymede’s landscape will set the stage for The People's Pageant a performance created by artist Estella Castle and part of Trust New Art, the National Trust’s programme of contemporary arts. Inspired by the 1934 Runnymede Pageant, this new contemporary artwork will draw from local stories and histories to reflect the surrounding area and forms part of the National Trust’s People's Landscapes programme.

Throughout 2019 the National Trust is inviting audiences to discover the dramatic, often hidden histories of the landscapes around them. As part of this, Estella Castle is seeking local residents with relatives or friends who participated in the original 1934 pageant to share their memories. These memories will then go on to shape the artwork providing a unique opportunity for local people to become involved. 

The 1934 pageant staged scenes from throughout English history.  Using  the original pageant  as  a starting  point,  Estella  Castle  will  work  collaboratively with local historians, community leaders and groups to assemble a range of contemporary and historic myths, stories and histories. Local stories and myths that may not be noted in history books are of particular interest. Local anecdotes will be given the same weight as historical events, democratising narratives to present the audience with a new understanding of  the hidden significance of the land. 

Mirroring the original pageant, the artist is also looking for actors to perform in the artwork along with sewing groups or individuals who would like to become involved. The pageant will take place on 16 June and will be a performance inspired by and created by the stories and skills of the local community. 

Taking part

If you'd like to take part in this unique event, please register your interest by emailing runnymede@nationaltrust.org.uk or by ringing 01784432891.

Runnymede Explored 

The People’s Pageant is part of Runnymede Explored, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, a five year project which will transform the way in which visitors experience Runnymede through new pathways, interpretation and community connections.