Why Lincoln’s Magna Carta is in hibernation this winter

Visitors to Lincoln Castle in recent weeks will have noticed that the Magna Carta is not taking pride of place in its vault.

The historical document will not be back in its home until early next year as it is currently ‘in hibernation’.

In fact, the priceless piece of history is only allowed to be exposed to a certain amount of light each year in order to stay in good condition, experts explained.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Kim Vickers, Lincoln Castle manager, said: “To make sure Magna Carta remains in good condition for future generations, it is only allowed to be exposed to a certain amount of light each year.

“So it is currently resting in a secret location until it returns to the vault early next year.

“In the meantime, we have a 1225 reissue of Charter of the Forest in its place, alongside the 1217 original, which recently celebrated its 800th anniversary.”

The vault itself will also be closed off to the public during the Lincoln Christmas Market.

Kim added: “During Christmas Market week, the vault will be closed to visitors as usual, and the other documents will have their annual check.

“However, the Victorian Prison and Medieval Wall Walk will remain open.”

Lincoln is home to one of only four remaining copies of the charter, which celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2015.