Memorials at Runnymede
Runnymede is famous as the site of the sealing of Magna Carta, but today it's home to a collection of memorials to the struggle for liberty. As well as the monument to Magna Carta, you can visit memorials to JFK and the Allied Air Forces of the Second World War.
Nearly 800 years ago, King John met with a group of barons on this small patch of countryside. It was here he sealed Magna Carta, seen by many as the symbolic first step on the road to modern democracy. In this spirit, today Runnymede has several memorials to the ongoing struggle for liberty.
Magna Carta Memorial
This monument to the historic moment Magna Carta was sealed here was designed by Sir Edward Maufe and erected in 1957 by the American Bar Association. Nestled in a quiet spot near the meadows and sat on a gentle slope looking out towards the Thames, today the memorial is the perfect place to pause and reflect.
Set in a symbolic acre of land donated to the United States of America by Queen Elizabeth II in 1965, this seven-tonne block of Portland stone commemorates the life of President John F Kennedy following his tragic assassination. Designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, it is maintained by the Kennedy Memorial Trust.
Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial
Beyond the woods on Coopers Hill is this moving memorial, inscribed with the names of 20,456 men and women of the Allied Air Forces who lost their lives in the Second World War on missions and have no known grave. Climb to the top for a view spanning two counties. The Air Forces Memorial is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Fairhaven Memorial Lodges
When Lady Fairhaven donated Runnymede to the National Trust, she commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to design these lodges in memory of her husband Sir Urban Broughton MP, who had bought the land to safeguard its future. Today you can visit South Lodge, home to the Magna Carta tearoom.