In a series of events to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, landmarks and museums in Lincoln will play host to a city-wide exhibition showcasing the county’s heroes and heritage.
Between June 27 and September 27, rare artifacts with Lincolnshire connections will be brought together from private, national and international collections to form Lincolnshire’s Great Exhibition.
Historic and priceless items will be on display at venues including The Collection, The Usher Gallery, Lincoln Cathedral’s Wren Library and Lincoln Castle.
Prominent Lincolnshire figures will range from Hugh of Wells, who was at the Magna Carta signing at Runnymede, to John and Charles Wesley; Isaac Newton to Alfred Lord Tennyson; the explorers Flinders, Franklin and Sir Joseph Banks.
A book featuring essays and reproductions of the exhibition treasures will accompany the event. The souvenior has been devised by Lord Cormac, the chairman of the Historic Lincoln Trust, and honorary curators Dr Alan Borg, former director of the V&A, and Jeff James, chief executive and keeper of the National Archives.
Highlight artifacts include:
- The 1225 Magna Carta from the National Archives, sat alongside Lincoln’s 1215 Magna Carta at Lincoln Castle
- The Heneage Jewel , one of the most important Tudor jewels in Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection
- The 1804 map of Australia drawn by Matthew Flinders, known as the birth certificate of Australia
- Paintings by the artist George Stubbs, who worked on his famous Anatomy of the Horse whilst in Lincolnshire
- Topographical paintings, including the Louth Panorama, from artists such as JMW Turner, LS Lowry, De Wint and Girton
- Material relating to the Kings Champion, a title which the Dymoke family have held since the 14th century
Lincolnshire County Council announced the first exhibition highlights at The Old Palace in Lincoln on Thursday, February 19.
The meeting of influential Lincoln figures also laid out a calendar of special events, including the Lincoln Castle Reveal after £22 million of works on April 1, the British National Cycling Championships, which comes to Lincoln in June and the opening of the International Bomber Command Memorial Centre.
Councillor Nick Worth, Executive Member for Culture and Heritage at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Events this year will really benefit everyone in Lincoln because there is going to be so much to see. Something that’s really great is we have joint ticketing now for the castle and cathedral.
“People are going to be able to walk right the way through the Castle for the first time without being charged. There will then be a charge to go in and see the Magna Carta from its new vault and the Victorian jail and interactive exhibits.
“We’re expecting thousands of people to come to Lincoln over the next year. That will bring more trade to businesses and our local economy.
“Lincolnshire’s Great Exhibition will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Many of these items have never been in the county before and they never will be again. The items have been donated from collections across the globe and it’s a huge operation bringing them here to stand with our own Magna Carta, which alone is worth around £13 million.”
Lord Cormack said: “A lot of work has gone into creating a new home for Magna Carta at the castle. This will mean that generations of visitors and students will have a unique opportunity to appreciate the full significance of the most important constitutional document in our history.
“This will be, to my knowledge, the largest exhibition ever staged in Lincoln and Lincolnshire.”
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney added: “The Magna Carta celebrations are certainly going to bring a lot of excitement to the city, but there will be many other highlights in 2015 too. With so much to offer, I’m sure we’ll see a big increase in visitors to the county this year.”