Runnymede Explored

Visitors at Writ in Water, Runnymede

It is over 800 years since feudal barons forced King John to seal Magna Carta at Runnymede, on the banks of the Thames, near Windsor.

This “Great Charter” established the principle that everyone is subject to the law, even the King. It also guaranteed the rights of individuals, including the right to justice and the right to a fair trial. To this day, Magna Carta remains one of the most important and influential documents in global history.

Now, thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, a 5-year project called Runnymede Explored, will be transforming visits to this historic place.


Fully accessible paths and trails will link Runnymede’s memorials and artworks. Existing paths will be upgraded and new river jetties will link Runnymede with Ankerwycke via seasonal river trips.


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

A new outdoor area will be created for picnics, event and community activities and there will be clear information around both sites to help with orientation and understanding of the history and significance of these places.


A programme of specially designed activities and events invite local community groups to become involved with the history and landscape of both sites, and a wider range of volunteering opportunities are being developed to attract people of all ages and backgrounds

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.

Artist Residency 2021

We are seeking an artist with experience in local community engagement and an interest in the heritage of Runnymede to create a sustainable natural sculpture trail.

The residency will form partnerships with local community groups and provide regular opportunities for engagement, culminating in a final outdoor sculptural trail located at Runnymede. Engagement can include workshops, online sessions, blogs, possible social media, exhibition or events.

Deadline: 9am, Monday 28 June

Find out more about the position and how to apply for the Artist Residency 2021 here 

Read our supporting document 'Hidden Histories' here, giving you insight into the historical and cultural significance of Runnymede. 

Community Engagement

The project is establishing new opportunities for volunteering and for schools and local communities to get involved, along with a range of activities including an archaeology project. We are working collaboratively with local residents, community organisations and stakeholders to ensure there is a profound change in how people experience Runnymede and these special places are looked after forever.

Latest updates

15 Jun 21

Magna Carta Day 2021

Today marks 806 years since Magna Carta was sealed at Runnymede. As part of the Runnymede Explored project, supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Trust Archaeology asked us to help write a blog post about the geophysics carried out by volunteers at Runnymede and Ankerwycke. You can read about the results here link text

07 Apr 21

Quantity surveyor appointed

Huntley Cartwright appointed as quantity surveyor for Runnymede Explored and site walkaround completed.

01 Apr 21

Habitat monitoring

As of April 2021 our Habitat Monitoring team will be undertaking 2 new transect routes monitoring bees and butterflies. We thank both the Butterfly Conservation Charity and Bumblebee Conservation Charity for their support and look forward to working with them to ensure we’re doing all we can to look after our wildlife.

Gatekeeper butterfly resting on a thistle flower at Runnymede, Surrey.