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Celebrating 800 years of the Charter of the Forest

27 September 2017

Lincoln Castle will be displaying Lincoln Cathedral’s 1217 Charter of the Forest and the 1225 reissue in the David PJ Ross Magna Carta Vault next week.

Charter of the Forest

Charter of the Forest

The Charter of the Forest was an extremely influential medieval document which dealt with the control of royal forests. It reformed the original forest law that had been introduced by William the Conqueror, massively reducing the size of the royal forests and ending the death penalty for poaching.

With a rising population, this allowed many landowners to turn waste land into productive farmland. And by ending the practice of using royal forests as a way of raising money through fines, the charter protected the forests that were left, many of which are still forests today, such as the Forest of Dean and Sherwood Forest.

Jon Hogan, public engagement manager at Lincoln Castle, said: “Although Magna Carta is more well-known, the Charter of the Forest was arguably more important to the common man, especially those that lived near or in a forest or open glade - which was a significant chunk of the population.

“So we’re proud to have both the 1217 original and 1225 reissue on display for its 800th anniversary on 6 November.

“We’ll also have a special Twilight Tour on Friday 3 November while, on the same day, The Collection will be hosting a lunchtime lecture by Dr Erik Grigg on the charter’s importance.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to find out more about a document that changed the shape of British history.”

The Charter of Forest display will be in the vault from Monday, 2 October until January 2018 while Magna Carta is on its annual rest period.

For further information on Lincoln Castle visit

For more on The Collection visit

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