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The four surviving original copies of Magna Carta will be brought together in 2015 for the first time in history, the British Library has announced.

Magna Carta
Magna Carta inspired the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The event will take place over three days and launch a year of celebrations across the UK and the world to mark the document’s 800th anniversary.

 

The document is seen as the cornerstone of Britain’s constitution, outlining a set of basic rights.

There are four surviving copies of Magna Carta – two copies belong to the British Library, one copy is owned by Lincoln Cathedral and one by Salisbury Cathedral.

All three organisations will be involved in the event, which will be held at the British Library in London.

‘National significance’

The library said it would be a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for researchers and the public to see the documents side-by-side”.

The manuscripts will be examined by some of the world’s leading experts.

The library said the unification of the documents would allow them to be studied much more closely, particularly faded or obscured parts of the text.

Historians would also be able to look for new clues about the identity of the writers of the texts, which is still unknown.

The charter was issued by King John as a way solving the political crisis he faced when powerful barons rebelled against him and captured London.

Although almost all the clauses have been repealed in modern times, the document established a number of important principles that have been copied around the world.

These include the principle that no-one is above the law – including the king – the right to a fair trial, and limits on taxation without representation.

It inspired the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Claire Breay, lead curator of medieval and earlier manuscripts at the British Library, said: “Magna Carta is the most popular item in the library’s treasures gallery, and is venerated around the world as marking the starting point for government under the law.”

The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Reverend June Osborne, praised the values of social justice in Magna Carta and said she hoped the unification would increase awareness of the charter “to a huge new audience”.

The Very Reverend Philip Buckler, Dean of Lincoln, said bringing together all four copies would be of “national significance” and would mark a “pivotal point” in the anniversary year.

Lincoln Cathedral will be opening a new purpose-built Magna Carta centre in Lincoln Castle during the anniversary year

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23304764

Join us on a tour of Salisbury and see the Magna Carta on Salisbury Cathedral

Wessex Guided Tours
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Tower Tours at Salisbury Cathedral are regarded as the ‘ultimate’ visitor experience. Led by one of our knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides, you climb 332 steps in five stages to discover the hidden medieval structure that supports the amazing spire, see behind the scenes, hear the Cathedral’s history, and see the breathtaking views over Salisbury and beyond from 224 feet above ground level.
Salisbury Cathedral Guided ToursThis Christmas there are four ways to experience a tower tour at Salisbury Cathedral.
29 November – 24 December 2012

Daily from 29 November through to 24 December there are two options available to choose from:
Tower Tour 12.15pm (90 minutes tour) Climb to the base of the spire and see the views over the city and surrounding countryside whilst learning about the history of the Cathedral from a specialist guide. £10.00 per person (£8.00 seniors, students and children 7-17 years)
Tower Tour and Tea 2.15pm (please note there will be no Tower Tour and Tea on Sunday 2 December and Sunday 16 December) A shorter Tower Tour (60 minutes maximum) followed by tea in the Cathedral’s award-winning Refectory with Christmas cake/mince pies. £13.00 per person (£11.00 seniors, students and children 7-17 years)
Pre-book your place online at http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk or call 01722 555156.

Christmas Spire Special
And for six days, we are offering a Christmas Spire Special providing the opportunity to see Salisbury City’s Christmas Lights from above. Beginning at 4.30pm, visitors enjoy a guided tour of the Cathedral and Chapter House with Magna Carta before climbing 332 steps to the base of the Cathedral spire on a ‘Tower Tour Teaser’ *, finishing with either a 2-course supper or seasonal refreshments.
Saturday 8, Thursday 13 and Thursday 20 December – with 2 course supper £20.00 (ends 7.30pm)
Friday 7, Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 19 December – seasonal refreshments £13.00 (ends 7.00pm)
*alternatively move into the quire and experience the beauty and peace of Evensong sung by our superb Cathedral Choir. 

To book please call 01722 555120.

Tower Tours

Enjoy spectacular views as you explore the roof spaces and tower, climbing 332 steps in easy stages by narrow winding spiral staircases to reach the foot of the spire 225 feet above ground level. From here you can see up into the spire through the medieval scaffold, and from the outside you can look over the city and surrounding countryside.

Tower tours cost £10.00 for adults, £8.00 for children/seniors and £27.00 family (2 adults + 3 children) which includes a donation to the Cathedral. Scheduled tours run at least once a day for 11 months of the year (subject to daily conditions).
From Monday to Saturday, scheduled tours run between 1 -5 times a day all year round (see timetable below). There are two scheduled tours on Sundays between April – September.

http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk

Wessex Guided Tourswww.Histouries.co.uk
Mystical Landscape, Magical Tours

 

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A priceless prehistoric gold lozenge excavated in the 19th century will be put on public display for the first time when the new Neolithic gallery at Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes opens next year.

The museum was awarded a £370,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund earlier this year to finance the new gallery, which will be built at the rear of the museum and is due to open in May.prehistoric gold lozenge

Secure display units will enable the museum to show items that were thought too valuable for public display.

Foremost of these is the large gold lozenge that was found in the Bush Barrow grave near Stonehenge, dating from around 1900BC, which was excavated by William Cunnington in 1808.

David Dawson, director of the museum, said: “A replica of the lozenge has always been on display here but as far as I am aware the original has never been put on show.

“The HLF grant has now enabled us to afford high- security measures.”

Other items from the grave to be put on show are a mace, the head of which was made from a rare flecked fossil stone from Devon, while the handle was embellished with bone zigzag mounts, and a smaller lozenge, which may well have been mounted on the handle of the mace.

There are also more recent finds in the new galleries including items from the grave of the Roundway Warrior, also excavated by William Cunnington in 1855, items from an Anglo-Saxon cemetery that was excavated in 1991 and artefacts from a dig by the Army at Barrow Clump near Figheldean on Salisbury Plain earlier this year.

Building work on the new galleries is due to begin in December and the fitting out is scheduled to run from January to the end of March. The objects will be installed during April, ready for the grand opening in May.

Dr Dawson said: “We want to open the galleries in time for our summer season.”

Full Aricle: http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/9974709.Devizes_treasures_set_to_be_revealed/

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An exciting new Bronze Age hoard discovered in west Wiltshire (near Stonehenge)  has just gone on display at Salisbury Museum. It was found a month ago in a field near Tisbury by a metal detectorist. He reported the first object, a spearhead, to the Wiltshire Finds Liaison Officer. A team of archaeologists then excavated the remaining objects and recorded how they lay in the ground.

The hoard of over 100 copper alloy objects is over 2,700 years old and dates to the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. It consists of tools – axe heads, chisels, sickles, gouges, and weapons – spearheads, daggers, knives, swords and scabbard fittings. It is the most important hoard to have been found in Wiltshire since the discovery of the Salisbury Hoard in the 1980s.

It is very unusual for a hoard of this significance to be on display in a regional museum before it has been assessed by the experts at the British Museum. The hoard will only be on display until Saturday 26 November – it will then go to the British Museum for assessment and the local coroner will need to hold an inquest to determine whether it is Treasure Trove.

See the Salisbury Journal for an article about the hoard.

 The hoard will only be on display until Saturday 26 November

Salisbury Museum – http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/

Wessex Guided Tours
HisTOURies UK – Mystical Landscape, Magical Tours

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VisitWiltshire has launched a new handy sized Wiltshire Downs & Market Towns pocket guide and map, offering helpful information as part of an on-going campaign to attract and retain visitors to the county.
Wilsthire White Horse

The 24-page pocket guide details a host of attractions and activities to suit all ages, with information about events and festivals, food and drink, history and heritage, and the great outdoors.

David Andrews Chief Executive of VisitWiltshire highlighted the need for the guide: “This new guide is all part of the work we’re doing to celebrate the diversity of the county’s tourism product and to raise the profile of Wiltshire as a must-see holiday destination.  This is a new title for us and I’m particularly pleased that we’ve had such strong support in producing this guide from the local travel industry.”

The Wiltshire Downs are home to some of the UK’s most exciting and iconic attractions including:

The White Horses cut into the chalk hillside
The Ridgeway long distance path, which has been called the oldest road in Britain
Crofton Pumping Station, which houses the oldest working beam engine in the world
Caen Hill locks, arguably the most impressive flight of locks in the UK
Avebury, one of the most important Megalithic monuments in Europe consisting of 200 standing stones in two great circles.  This is combined with a massive bank and ditch which covers more than 28 acres
The new guide is split into clear sections making it easy for visitors to find just what they are looking for.  Amongst the highlights are events listings, suggestions for days out and plenty of pages dedicated to food and drink.  There is also a map showing the location of each individual attraction and activity.

David Dawson, Chair of Devizes Area Tourism Partnership and Director of Wiltshire Heritage Museum said, “We are delighted that VisitWiltshire has produced this timely new Wiltshire Towns & Market Towns Pocket Guide.  Given all the changes to tourism in Devizes lately it’s fantastic to see VisitWiltshire proactively targeting new visitors in this way, informing them of the best to see and do in the area.  Many of our attractions are now acting as mini tourist information centres and will be stocking the guide for anyone to use.”

As well as local circulation, the print run of 30,000 copies will be distributed proactively as part of VisitWiltshire’s marketing drive to bring additional visitors to the county.  Additional content is available to visitors online at www.visitwiltshire.co.uk.

Copies of the free ‘Pocket Guide and Map’ are available from VisitWiltshire by calling 0845 602 7323 or can be downloaded from the internet by visiting www.visitwiltshire.co.uk.

 The Best Tours in Wessex
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THE first two crop circles of the summer have appeared close to Stonehenge.Stonehenge crop circle

Both lie in a barley field just off the A360, near Airman’s Corner.

Francine Blake of the Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group said the first, which is 170ft in diameter, is an important symbol similar to one from the ancient Mayan culture, lying east-west and linking past and future.

Some enthusiasts have pointed out that it is identical to a logo used by the anarchist punk band Crass 30 years ago, representing the idea that great power will eventually destroy itself.

The second symbol, of two circles touching, measures 130ft by 80ft, and is said to relate to a partial solar eclipse on July 1.
Link: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/9132878.Crop_circles_appear/?ref=ms

Visit this and other mysterious crop circles in the Wessex area with one of our private guided tours
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 The weather may not be anything to write a postcard home about – but the West’s tourism industry enjoyed a twin boost yesterday.

Key visitor attractions featured prominently in the first global TV adverts for a decade and new research showed up to 17 million Brits will holiday at home this year.

VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, yesterday unveiled its international TV campaign to attract overseas visitors to the country.

The adverts will be screened around the world, and include Stonehenge, Glastonbury and the Cotswolds.

Stonehenge is already in the spotlight because of the summer solstice, and VisitBritain say the UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most important prehistoric monuments on the planet.

As well as the 5,000-year-old site, there are money Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in the surrounding landscape, and Avebury, the largest stone circle in Europe, is nearby.

Glastonbury is synonymous with the annual music festival taking place at the weekend, with international superstars such as U2, Coldplay and Beyonce, as well as theatre and circus performers and much more.but VisitBritain also point to the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, and the iconic Tor, along with myths and legends about the Isle of Avalon, King Arthur, Joseph of Arimathea and the Holy Grail.

The agency adds: “For many visitors, the Cotswolds represent everything that is quintessentially ‘English’, with villages and churches of honey-coloured limestone set among gentle hillsides, cottage gardens, beech woods and drystone walls.”

Historic sites include Sudeley Castle and Chedworth Roman Villa, while VisitBritain urges tourists to sample local produce such as Gloucester Old Spot pork, Tewkesbury mustard and the famous Cotswold cheeses.

Other locations in the TV adverts include London landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral, the Lake District, Snowdon in Wales, Edinburgh Castle and the Highlands.

Celebrities such as actress Dame Judi Dench, fashion icon Twiggy and chef Jamie Oliver – who has restaurants in Bath and Bristol with another opening in Cheltenham this summer – star in them.

The campaign kicks off a major marketing push that seeks to build on the global impact of the Royal Wedding, with the Olympics next year also guaranteeing the international spotlight.

It will concentrate on the current most important tourism markets, such as the US and Western Europe, and the big growth areas for the future, including China and India.

VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: “This is our first global TV campaign for 10 years and marks the start of an ambitious marketing programme. With the eyes of the world on us, we have an opportunity to showcase Britain and then to close the sale with great travel deals and offers from our partners.

“This campaign aims to inspire visitors to come and explore for themselves. Over four years, we aim to attract four million extra overseas visitors, who will spend £2 billion across Britain.”

Meanwhile a new survey has found nearly 40 per cent of Britons will stay at home this summer as families strive to balance household finances.

Many of them will instead enjoy ‘staycations’, with the West sure to cash in.

The poll was carried out for savings bank ING Direct, and chief executive Richard Doe said: “It’s not surprising that the summer holiday is often being sacrificed.”

Visiting Britain ? Visit the West Country!

Wessex Tour Guide
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