Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy


Suitable for: Year 3-6

Available: Workshops will take place on selected dates from 13 March until 1 September 2015.

View current availability

Length: 90 minutes

Group size: Minimum 10, maximum 40 per session

The workshop takes place in the exhibition gallery.

Subjects and Key Skills


Workshop outline

To mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of Magna Carta, the British Library is holding a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition that explores the history and resonance of this globally-recognised document. The exhibition is sponsored by Linklaters.

Magna Carta has inspired people across the centuries from Thomas Jefferson to Oliver Cromwell, from Winston Churchill to Eleanor Roosevelt, and from Nelson Mandela to Mahatma Gandhi. But why has it become one of the most celebrated and influential documents in history? What was happening in 1215 that led to its granting? What significance does it have today?

Explore these questions and more in one of our accompanying free workshops for school groups. Guided in the exhibition by one of our specialist educators, students will examine Magna Carta’s medieval context as well as its lasting legacy as a symbol of liberty and human rights. Activities will engage young people with the primary sources on display, stimulate lively debate and develop skills in historical interpretation and critical thinking.

Ready to book?

View current availability for this workshop and then complete a booking form.


The Magna Carta learning programme is supported by The Dorset Foundation in memory of Harry M Weinrebe.


Event for teachers

Thursday 26 March 2015 16.30-20.30

An exciting evening for primary and secondary History teachers, in partnership with the Historical Association. For more information click here.


New for 2015! Digital Resources for the Classroom

Bring your History and Citizenship lessons to life with our new Magna Carta website. Featuring short films, animations, an interactive timeline and lesson plans, the site will uncover the story of King John, the medieval world from which Magna Carta sprang and the relevance of this document today as an iconic symbol of liberty, freedom and human rights in the UK and around the world.

A selection of collection items, a short introduction and a timeline are now available to view. Visit the site again in March 2015, when it will be updated with a wide range of new content about Magna Carta and its legacy.