Durham Cathedral hosts world-first exhibition of Magna Carta and Forest Charters documents

The Magna Carta
The Magna Carta

Durham Cathedral has launched a world-first exhibition which brings together the Magna Carta and Forest Charters documents.

Staged as part of the Open Treasure exhibition within the Collections Gallery at Durham Cathedral, this multi-million pound National Lottery-funded exhibition sees the documents displayed together for the first time in order to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the first Forest Charter.

The Magna Carta is recognised as being one of the most important documents in history. It was used to enforce law a guaranteed fair trial and human rights. With three clauses still in place, the document is a vital cornerstone of British democracy today.

The Forest Charter relates to the Royal Forests and gave commoners rights, privileges and protection against the abuses of the King.

The new exhibition, which is on display until September 9, guides visitors through a history of the significance of these impressive artefacts in Northern England.

In addition to the Open Treasure exhibition, the next launch at Durham Cathedral is the Treasures of St Cuthbert’s exhibition opening on July 29.

This new permanent exhibition in the Great Kitchen will host some of England’s most exquisite ecclesiastical treasures. Visitors will be able to explore the miracles of St Cuthbert who died in 689.

As legend has it, St Cuthbert’s coffin was opened 11 years after he was buried and his body and clothes were still perfectly intact.

•Tickets for Open Treasure are £2.50 - £7.50 and are available from the Visitor Desk in the Cathedral, the Open Treasure Welcome Desk, and online in advance from www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/open-treasure/book