Runnymede Explored project: supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Project
A woman and small child inspecting The Jurors 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.

Project Newsletters

Our Volunteering and Community Participation Manager Jess Kellard will be bringing you regular updates on the project featuring everything from recruitment and volunteering information, news on recent and upcoming events and updates on capital works on site. 

" 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 connections

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.

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

Runnymede Explored blog 

Our project volunteer Ed will be bringing you regular blog posts about all things Runnymede Explored.

Latest updates

15 Oct 19

Aquatic survey

A team of ecologists have been on the Thames on a beautiful autumn day undertaking a macrophyte survey (plants growing in or near water). Their report, along with a habitat survey and flooding assessments, will assist us to design jetties that are suited to our environment.

Aquatic survey

09 Sep 19

Surveying work at Runnymede

Topographical and ecological surveyors have been at Runnymede recently preparing assessments for improved paths. Their findings assist our landscape architect to design paths that are accessible and fitting for the landscape.

Runnymede and Ankerwycke, Surrey

02 Sep 19

Former landing area at Ankerwycke revealed

Rangers spent time clearing a section of the bank exposing the steps used in the last century for those arriving by boat to Ankerwycke. The steps were completely obscured by shrubbery and aren’t safe to use in their current state. The new jetty will allow people to access Ankerwycke from the river as they once did.

The jetty at Ankerwycke