National   Society  Magna  Charta  Dames and Barons

Established 1909

National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons

July 2000 Educational Tour

Program for the National Society of Magna Charta Dames & Barons

Educational Tour July 21 - 31, 2000

Friday July 21st 2000

    Departure from the U.S.A.

Saturday July 22nd 2000

    Arrive at London, Heathrow Airport. You will be met by your guide for the next ten days and transfer to your hotel.

    Time permitting, this afternoon we will visit the British Library to see the display of two of the original copies of the Magna Charta.

    Early evening welcome drinks party at the hotel. A guest lecturer will talk about Magna Charta and the places that will be visited during the tour.

Dinner o/n London hotel

Sunday July 23rd 2000

    Spend the day in the country visiting Salisbury and its beautiful Cathedral, where one of the four copies of the Magna Charta is displayed in the Chapter House.

    Enjoy lunch in a private house built in the 15th century, situated on the Cathedral grounds. Luncheon will be hosted by the owner of this interesting house.

    Return to London by early evening.

Breakfast and lunch o/n London hotel

Monday July 24th 2000

    Today is free for shopping and additional sightseeing on your own in London.

    This evening have dinner in a fashionable restaurant, then attend the theater to see one of the exciting productions being staged in London.

Breakfast and dinner o/n London hotel

Tuesday July 25th 2000

    Depart London and drive to Suffolk to visit the areas connected with the Knights and Barons of the Magna Charta.

    Visit the magnificent Cathedral at Bury St. Edmunds, where members of the National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons have contributed the shields of the Barons. The city was once a famous destination for pilgrims coming to see the shrine of St. Edmund, the last king of East Anglia. Walk through the 11th century abbey that was once one of the noblest and wealthiest in England, now almost a total ruin.

    Lunch at leisure.

    Visit the Castle of Colchester, home of Saire de Quincey. Colchester was constructed using Roman materials in the 12th century. The Keep, the only portion now surviving, is in the same style as the other Norman castles.

    Visit the imposing ruins of Framlingham Castle, granted to Roger Bigod by Henry I in 1100 and remaining in the Bigod family for many generations. Roger Bigod was one of the strongest advocates of the Charter of Liberty, for which he was excommunicated by Pope Innocent III.

    Robert Fitzwalter, the Surety, was the third lord of Dunmow Castle and leader of the magna Charta Barons and their army. Although there are almost no remains to be viewed at this site, the old market town has plenty of historical interest.

    Drive through the County of Suffolk to LAVENHAM and enjoy a leisurely stroll around this interesting village with wooden beamed houses and antique shops.

    Dinner and overnight at the SWAN HOTEL, a splendid Elizabethan building set in the middle of the village, bristling with beams, cozy alcoves and charming public areas.

Breakfast and dinner o/n SWAN HOTEL, LAVENHAM

Wednesday July 26th 2000

    Spend the day exploring more of this beautiful country with its many connections to your Magna Charta ancestors.

    Lunch today at the family home of Lord and Lady Somerleyton. Somerleyton Hall was built in the Angle-Italian style with lavish architectural features, magnificent carved stonework and fine state rooms. The spectacular twelve acre gardens feature an 1846 yew hedge maze.

Breakfast and lunch o/n SWAN HOTEL, LAVENHAM

Thursday July 27th 2000

    Depart Suffolk and drive south across the River Thames to the County of Kent, called the Garden County because of its beauty.

    Spend the next two days exploring the sites with historical links to the Magna Charta. Dating from pre-Roman times, the Keep of the Castle at Rochester can be seen from a distance of some 20 miles. Erected after 1127, it is one of the finest specimens of Norman military architecture in England.

    When King John wanted to repudiate the newly granted Magna Charta, he prepared the Royal castles against attack, planning to make them his centers of resistance. The Barons revolted and the King and his mercenaries fought a severe battle against William d'Albini. The siege at Rochester Castle lasted for seven weeks until hunger and thirst forced d'Albini's surrender. All of his men were killed, and he was sent to a medieval prison.

    The Cathedral dates mainly from the 12th to 14th Century. The Crypt is one of the largest and most beautiful in England, with a case exhibiting Cromwellian uniforms and equipment.

    Continue through the Kent countryside to Canterbury.

    Lunch at leisure.

    Canterbury was one of the most venerated pilgrim shrines in the Middle Ages. the ancient city retains many medieval features. Work began on the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral in 1070 and completed in 1503, although little work was carried out between 1180 and 1379. A small slab of stone marks the spot where Becket is believed to have fallen after four knights entered the cloisters and cut down "the turbulent priest" on 29 December 1170.

    Wander through the city where you can see Queen Elizabeth's Guest Chamber, a splendid Tudor house, the old city walls and a myriad of interesting shops.

Dinner o/n hotel in the Canterbury area

Friday July 28th 2000

    Visit Dover Castle, William de Huntingfield's stronghold and the scene of horrendous cruelties and imprisonments. De Huntingfield joined the Barons against King John and was excommunicated by the Pope. His lands were given to Nicholas de Haya and he later died on a Crusade in 1220.

    More recently opened is a network of secret wartime underground tunnels which functioned as the nerve center for the evacuations of Dunkirk.

    Lunch at the Mermaid Inn in Rye, once famous for its smuggling associations. The Inn has romantic old world appeal with low beams and antique furnishings. After lunch, stroll through the cobbled streets bordered by attractive houses from the 15th to 18th centuries.

    One of the Cine Ports and now a seaside resort, Hastings was the first place William the Conqueror made after landing with his army. The castle ruins form a picturesque feature and the Old Town is unusually well preserved.

    Driving back through the countryside, we come to Battle Abbey, which stands at one of the turning points in history. On 14 October 1066, the Battle of Hastings was fought just southeast of the town. There is a commanding view of the battlefield from the broad walk of the Abbey. Pub lunch and overnight in Kent.

Pub lunch o/n Kent hotel

Saturday July 29th 2000

    Return to London via Windsor to see the world famous Castle and Chapel. Continue to Eton College, Britain's most famous and ancient of public schools, founded in 1440 by Henry VI. Private visit of the Museum of Eton life, the School Yard, College Chapel and the Lower and  Upper Schools, followed by lunch in one of the Dining Halls.

    The final visit for the day will be the site of the sealing of the Magna Charta at Runnymede.

    Free evening in London.

Breakfast and lunch o/n London hotel

Sunday July 30th 2000

    Take a trip be boat down the River Themes to see the Millenium Dome, Britain's contribution to recognizing the new Century. After seeing so many ancient sites, this will be a striking contrast!

    This evening a special farewell dinner will be arranged in a private venue.

Breakfast and dinner o/n London hotel

Monday July 31st 2000

    Departure Day Transfer to airport for your return flight home. Bon Voyage!

Please contact the Society at 215-836-5022 for further information The full itinerary plus the price and terms and conditions, prepared by Gate1 International Travel Service, will be sent to you by the Society. Once you have decided to participate, you will be referred to Gate1 for reservations and payment. This itinerary is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. The Tour Operator and Seller of Travel for this Tour is Gate1 International Travel Service.

It is not necessary to be a member of the Society to participate.

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