Magna Carta anniversary marked in Clare with medieval fair and procession

The Magna Carta procession parades through Clare on Saturday

The Magna Carta procession parades through Clare on Saturday - Credit: Su Anderson

Up to 4,000 people visited Clare at the weekend to mark 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta.

The Magna Carta procession parades through Clare on Saturday

The Magna Carta procession parades through Clare on Saturday - Credit: Su Anderson

The anniversary has special relevance for Clare as two of the 25 barons who pushed King John to agree to the landmark legal document, Richard de Clare and his son Gilbert de Clare, came from the town.

A medieval costumed procession started proceedings on Saturday as people dressed in period costume walked through the town to Clare Country Park where a medieval fair took place.

Musicians led the parade which also featured dignitaries including the High Sheriff of Suffolk Judith Shallow.

She was presented with the ‘Liberties of Clare’, the town’s own version of the Magna Carta.

The Magna Carta procession parades through Clare on Saturday

The Magna Carta procession parades through Clare on Saturday - Credit: Su Anderson

Keith Haisman, chairman of the town’s Magna Carta organising committee, said: “We had a good turnout with the procession going off bang on time at 11am after the church bells rung out. It was really good, there were lots of people around the town and it was pleasing that a lot of people followed on at the back-end of the procession voluntarily.

“A lot of people were in costume from the community – we also had two events during the week, the Tastes of 1215 in the Town Hall and a banquet on Friday.”

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He added it was a community event – with 150 children from 12 different schools involved in the procession – and proceeds from the event going to local groups which made it possible.

The Magna Carta was granted by King John on June 15, 1215, establishing that the king was subject to the law rather than being above it.

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