Leicester Market Marks 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta

July 10, 2015

Leicester Market recently joined the nation in celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, with a number of events and visits taking place at one of the city’s oldest landmarks.

Since then, a permanent commemoration of Magna Carta has been established in the main window of the Leicester Market offices, located on Market Place South next to Santander. Be sure to come down and take a look for yourselves! The window display includes a superb collection of old weights and measures regularly used in Leicester.

What is Magna Carta?

We’ve all heard of the Magna Carta (below) from our schooldays but how many of us actually know what it is? The Magna Carta (or Great Charter) is actually 3,500 words, written in Latin, that are credited with laying the foundations of modern democracy, the defence of personal liberty and the protection of freedoms around the world.


That’s fine but why would we want to celebrate that in Leicester Market? What has that got to do with fruit, vegetables and fabrics?

Clause 35 of the Magna Carta (there were 61 of them) actually relates to the standardisation of weights and measures across the kingdom. Today we take it for granted that a kilo, a gallon or a metre is the same in Leicester as everywhere else across the country. It was Magna Carta that helped bring that about.

Medieval-MusicOur Events

On Saturday 13th June between 11:00am-4:00pm, Leicester Market hosted a series of free medieval displays, workshops and activities.

On Monday 15th June a performer read out a section of the Magna Carta, with a Medieval Music Wagon entertaining shoppers in the market place.

Leicester Market Welcomed Lance Allan

A cyclist from Trowbridge in Wiltshire marked the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary, by riding 800 miles for charity. Lance Allan cycled from Somerset to Northumberland, calling in on the 23 towns that were home to the rebel barons who forced King John to accept the Magna Carta.

Traders from the market food hall then offered Lance a ploughman’s lunch – including local cheeses and pork pie – with food kindly provided by Sherwin’s Cheese Company, Country Fayre, and Kotula & Son’s Polish Deli.

Magna Carta 800: arrival in Leicester of charity cyclistFor more information on Lance’s visit, please click here.

For more information about the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary being staged between May –September visit www.visitleicester.info/magnacarta or pop into Visit Leicester or the Market Service Centre for a free event leaflet and to see our excellent Magna Carta Commemoration Window!