Runnymede Explored project: supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

A family walking the dog by the Magna Carta Memorial at Runnymede

It is 804 years since feudal barons forced King John to seal Magna Carta at Runnymede, on the banks of the Thames, near Windsor. To this day, Magna Carta remains one of the most important documents in global history. Now, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project can move ahead with plans to help visitors discover more about this special place and enjoy it for recreation, learning and volunteering.

Our plans at Runnymede

Having received funding of £1.6 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project plans to unify two sites of international significance, Runnymede and adjacent Ankerwycke, with improved pathways and interpretation, and a new ferry crossing across the River Thames. The project will enable visitors to travel more easily between the two sites and get a better understanding of their combined importance: Runnymede’s significance as the site of the sealing of Magna Carta, and Ankerwycke, home to Benedictine priory ruins and the Ankerwycke yew, the National Trust’s oldest tree at 2,500 years old.

Plans also include new trails and an upgraded tow path along the River Thames to encourage access to the public artworks at the site: The Jurors, created by Hew Locke and Writ in Water created by Mark Wallinger, the monuments and memorials at Runnymede and to new interpretation around the themes of liberty, people and commemoration.


" There are few places in the UK that rival Runnymede in terms of its profound influence on our national heritage.  Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, these thoughtful and sensitive improvements will enhance this special place for everyone to enjoy."
- Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund

Community Engagement and Learning

The project will establish new opportunities for volunteering and for schools and local communities to get involved, along with a range of activities including an archaeology project.  There are wider plans to work collaboratively with stakeholders including Surrey County Council and Runnymede Borough Council, the Colne Valley Regional Park Authority, and local community groups to deliver a profound change in how people experience Runnymede.

Latest updates

20 May 20

Rainbows over Runnymede launches

This creative project for 5-13 year olds will have a different theme for each month, starting with 'Freedom'. Each theme will be inspired by key aspects of the Magna Carta. We're asking for artwork or soundpiece submissions, with each piece linking to the monthly theme. Our Volunteering and Community Engagement Manager Jess Kellard was interviewed on BBC Radio Surrey about Rainbows over Runnymede and shared our vision for a project which will bring positivity and build community connections during an unprecedented time.

A rainbow

13 Apr 20

Phone a Friend scheme

We have developed Phone a Friend, an initiative where we’ll be expanding on the methods we use to communicate with the whole property team. We have also provided different activities to get stuck in with online and our volunteers are reflecting on positive things to either at home or in the garden in our blog.

Phone a Friend logo

19 Mar 20

Local food donation

Through the project’s community links, the Runnymede Magna Carta tea-room and project staff were able to share fresh food remaining after closure with local community members who are particularly vulnerable at the moment.

Runnymede Explored food donation