Heritage Lottery Fund support for historic Magna Carta site

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

Our Runnymede Explored project has received development funding of £126,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This will help us to progress our plans to apply for a full grant of £1.6million next year to help create a ferry crossing to unite Runnymede and Ankerwycke, upgrade the towpaths, and create new trails.

The 2015 Magna Carta celebrations put Runnymede on a world stage. They were a tremendous catalyst for our lasting ambition to deliver a legacy of providing a beautiful and distinctive public open space at this special landscape. We’re grateful for this generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in moving us much closer to achieving our goals.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge unveiled The Jurors public artwork in 2015, seen here with artist Hew Locke.
Hew Locke unveiling The Jurors installation, accompanied by Prince William

More about the Runnymede Explored Project

Through the Runnymede Explored project, we’re aiming to provide a beautiful and distinctive public open space at Runnymede and nearby Ankerwycke. We’ll be looking at presenting and interpreting the landscape in a holistic way, as it’s a landscape of international significance as the historic site of the sealing of the Magna Carta.

Daniel Duthie, our General Manager for Runnymede says:

‘Runnymede is a place that can speak to a global audience about liberty, the rule of law, human rights and individual freedom. We want our visitors to be more engaged with this special place, and to know why Runnymede and Ankerwycke matter - as a rich local resource for recreation and pleasure, for learning, for volunteering, and for engaging others in its history and future.’

Inscription on the ceiling of the American Bar Association memorial at Runnymede, which is considered to be the birthplace of modern democracy.
The inscription on the ceiling of the American Bar Association memorial at Runnymede

Our plans at Runnymede

If we are successful in applying for the full grant next year, then we intend to create a river ferry crossing between Runnymede and Ankerwycke and to revise the interpretation and welcome for visitors like you, on both sides of the river.

We’re hoping to create a new trail and upgraded tow path along the River Thames. The new trail and path would encourage access to the public artwork The Jurors, created by Hew Locke to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015, the monuments at Runnymede, and to new points of interpretation around the themes of liberty, people and commemoration.

" Runnymede is a place that can speak to a global audience about liberty, the rule of law, human rights and individual freedom."
- Daniel Duthie, General Manager, Surrey Landscapes

Community opportunities

We’re also hoping we’ll be able to establish new volunteering opportunities through the project, and an archaeology project, with opportunities for schools and local communities to get involved. We have wider plans to work collaboratively with stakeholders, too, including Surrey County Council and Runnymede Borough Council to deliver a profound change in how people experience Runnymede.

Uniting Runnymede and Ankerwycke

Ankerwycke and Runnymede were historically one estate, with the River Thames forming the central highway, but which now forms a barrier to crossing. On one side is the historic site of the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede; on the other, the Ankerwycke priory ruins: a scheduled ancient monument and home to the Ankerwycke yew.

One of the most remarkable trees in Britain, the Ankerwycke yew is thought to be 2,500 years old.
The Ankerwycke yew

Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, says:

"Runnymede is one of the most important sites in our history and we’re delighted to make this investment today.

“It was inspiring to see the interest generated during last year’s anniversary and this project is a fitting way to continue the discussions that were started whilst ensuring the site is protected and more welcoming in the future.”

Latest posts

03 Feb 17

Volunteer Development Manager recruitment

Applications open to further expand the HLF bid team with the post of Volunteer Development Manager, who will lead the development of volunteering for the Runnymede Explored Project. Find out more and apply at http://bit.ly/2kcDsMa

28 Sep 16

Audience Development Manager recruitment

Applications are open for the post of Audience Development Manager, who will help us drive forward our plans for Runnymede by researching our key audiences and writing our Heritage Lottery Fund Stage 2 bid. Find out more and apply at http://bit.ly/2dw7Uxi

20 Jul 16

HLF Stage 1 funding approved

The "Runnymede Explored" project receives funding of £125,000 from the Heritage Lottery fund, kickstarting our ambitious plans to open up Runnymede and Ankerwycke for everyone to enjoy.