My visit to the historic Magna Carta memorial

Wednesday 13th September 2023 07:20 EDT

Recently, I had a chance to visit the historic Magna Carta memorial. Me and my parents are on a visit to the UK and are currently residing at Egham. On the 8th of September, 2023, we decided to visit the Magna Carta memorial which is about 2.1 miles from Egham. In the morning, we walked to the Middle Hill bus station and caught bus no. 8. The bus driver was helpful and guided us regarding where to drop off to visit Magna Carta. On the way, we saw the beautiful Royal Holloway. After a few stops, we dropped off at the Bells of Ouzeley bus stop. After walking for a few minutes, we reached Runnymede, where we saw captivating natural scenery. We saw the River Thames flowing serenely. There were many private yachts, each having their own unique design, sailing across the river and people onboard enjoying their cruise. A couple of ducks were enjoying their swim in the river. An old lady whom we met there was living in her yacht since 1 year! It had 2 bedrooms, kitchen and beautiful plants on the top. She guided us on the way to the Magna Carta memorial. We started walking in the direction shown by her. On the way, we also saw a yacht repairing centre. Special cruise tours were also being operated there by a company called French Brothers.

Soon, as we kept walking, we saw two stones on either side of the road which marked the entry point for Magna Carta memorial. Further ahead, we saw 12 intricately carved bronze chairs. They had been unveiled to mark 800 years of the sealing of Magna Carta. Each chair had different artwork in different languages. It was a centre of attraction for many people. Just right from there, we walked uphill to behold the Magna Carta memorial. A seemingly simple memorial, white in colour, however symbolizes a historic moment in English history. It has 8 pillars and a 3-layered top. The current Magna Carta memorial has been installed by the American Bar Association.

A brief history of Magna Carta: Magna Carta, meaning ‘Great Charter’­ was a charter sealed by King John of England on 15th June, 1215 at Runnymede Meadows. It was signed under pressure by rebellious barons who had their grievances with the feudal system. This charter granted liberties to the common man. The government was limited by the law of the land. Other provisions included providing for a free church, protection from illegal imprisonment, limits on taxation, widow rights and reforming law and justice.

After going around the memorial and observing it for some time, we relaxed a bit at the nearby wooden bench. I took some time to visualize and imagine the events that would have taken place at that same point. The scene from up there was beautiful and the green meadows were the highlight. Soon, we departed for home on the same route back. It was a lot of walking for a day (we Indians generally don’t walk a lot) but I guess it paid off.

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