Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy

Fri 13 Mar – Tue 1 Sep 2015
Magna Carta detail with model of King John
Book tickets
  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email:
  • Full Price: £12.00; Under 18: Free Other concessions available

To mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta we are holding a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition - book now!

Foundation of democracy or rallying cry for modern rights? One of the world’s most famous documents, Magna Carta has inspired some of today’s fundamental liberties. Yet it started as a practical solution to a political crisis 800 years ago.

Since 1215, Magna Carta has evolved from a political agreement to an international symbol of freedom. Uncover the story of how its power has been used – and abused – from its genesis through to today’s popular culture, in the largest exhibition ever staged about this world-famous document.

Explore centuries of dramatic history, from King John, medieval battles, revolution, wars, empire and the struggle for the right to vote, right up to today’s satirical commentaries Together, for this once-in-a-lifetime moment, are the iconic documents and artefacts that tell the story of Magna Carta: two of the four original 1215 Magna Carta documents, Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence and one of the original copies of the US Bill of Rights, both on display in the UK for the first time, together with stunning manuscripts, paintings, statues and royal relics.

Discover the history, and challenge the myth, of one of the world’s most famous documents.

The exhibition is sponsored by Linklaters. Using the Magna Carta viewer on the Linklaters website you can examine the document in detail, read it in English and Latin, and discover its key themes.

2015 Programme

King John, hunting with his dogs

The exhibition will be at the heart of a wider Magna Carta programme at the Library, with a series of public events, a conference, a learning programme and an online legacy for Magna Carta in 2015 and beyond. British artist Cornelia Parker has been specially commissioned to create a new artwork, which will be unveiled at the British Library on 15 May 2015 and remain on display until 24 July.

Magna Carta learning programme

To accompany the exhibition, we are offering a programme of student workshops and teacher conferences to support the delivery of History at Key Stages 2-5 and Citizenship at Key Stages 3-5. We are also encouraging schools to participate in a project to debate students’ rights and responsibilities in the digital space.

For primary schools

For secondary schools and teachers

Sponsored by

Linklaters' logo


Name: Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy
Where: PACCAR Gallery
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Opening times and visitor information
Price: Full Price: £12.00
Adult Gift Aid: £13.50 *
Senior 60+ Gift Aid: £11.00 *
Senior 60+: £10.00
Student: £5.00
Registered Unemployed: £5.00
Disabled: £5.00
Disabled Carer: £0.00
Under 18: £0.00
Friend of the British Library: £0.00
National Art Pass Adult: £6.00
National Art Pass Senior 60+: £4.00

* Includes a voluntary 10% donation over the regular ticket price. You will be helping the Library to conserve and share its collection. If you are a UK tax-payer and ‘Gift Aid’ your donation, the Library can reclaim the tax you have paid.

Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book tickets

Blog posts about Magna Carta

Canterbury Cathedral and Magna Carta

03 March 2015

The countdown continues until the opening of our major exhibition, Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy. Today we're delighted to announce that the show will feature a number of stunning loans from Canterbury Cathedral, which will illuminate the story of how...

Magna Carta: The Worcester Connection

26 February 2015

There are now just a few weeks to the opening of our magnificent Magna Carta exhibition. We're very excited today to announce that on display will be some extremely precious items loaned to us by our friends at Worcester Cathedral...

Magna Carta Unification Update

25 February 2015

It seems ages since we brought together for the first time in history the four 1215 Magna Carta manuscripts: in fact, it was only the beginning of February! This was a truly memorable occasion, and we thought you might like...

One Month To Go

13 February 2015

It's exactly one month until our major exhibition, Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy, opens to the public. We've been working feverishly behind the scenes to get the show ready: the builders are fitting out the gallery, the labels have been...

More blog posts