An afternoon exploring Runnymede

Runnymede is a meadow south of Windsor, and is best-known for being the site where the Magna Carta was sealed in 1215.    According to Wikipedia, the name Runnymede probably derives from two Anglo-Saxon words – runieg, meaning regular meeting; and mede meaning meadow.  Although I knew that that the Magna Carta was sealed there, I didn’t know that Runnymede was also where the Witenagemot, the council of the Anglo-Saxon kings, was held during the reign of Alfred the Great.  Don’t you just love the internet for being able to find out these fascinating facts?

Visiting the Magna Carta memorial whilst exploring Runnymede

Historical significance aside, Runnymede is also a lovely place for a walk.  There are several walks marked on the map.  We decided to go for the shortest one and leave the buggy behind in the car –  a wise move as it turned out as the ground was very boggy in places.

The twelve bronze chairs which make up The Jurors

Hubby took charge of the camera – so for once I’m in the photos with the girls!  We made our way across the meadow towards The Jurors – an art installation which marked the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta last year. It was fenced off during our visit, but I think normally visitors can sit on the chairs and reflect.

Detailing on one of the bronze chairs of The Jurors

There are twelve bronze chairs in the installation, reflecting the twelve members of a jury, and each chair has different images and symbols which represent the law and key moments in legal history.

Up the steps to the John F Kennedy memorial

We then headed to the fifty steps that lead up to the John F. Kennedy memorial – one step representing each American state.  It was quite a climb for little legs but Sophie coped very well (Jessica having requested to “ride on Mummy’s back” instead!)  The journey up the steps to the monument is designed to represent a pilgrimage.  We stopped for a rest on the benches at the top and admired the view across the river before making our way back down again.

Me and my girls posing for a photo together at the John F. Kennedy memorialStopping for a rest

Jessica was happy to get down and walk once we’d reached the Magna Carta memorial and the girls had fun chasing each other up the steps towards the monument.  They soon decided that the columns were perfect for playing hide and seek – a game which only came to an end when Jessica spotted a ladybird on one of the columns, which of course required further scrutiny.

Up and down the steps of the Magna Carta memorialPlaying hide and seek in the columns of the Magna Carta memorialSpotting a ladybird on one of the columns of the Magna Carta memorial

The rest of our walk took us across the meadows and along the river.  Sophie loved all the huge “muddy puddles” that were everywhere – thanks to the boggy ground – and had a lot of fun jumping up and down in them.  Thank goodness for wellies!

Sophie at the Magna Carta memorialJumping up and down in muddy puddles in the boggy ground

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

28 thoughts on “An afternoon exploring Runnymede

  1. I do love the little bit of history you add to your posts. Do you find these facts out before you go or look them up after? I always like to find out a little of where we visit too. I’m guessing those chairs were fenced off so that the grass beneath had a chance to regrow in spring. Lovely to see you in the photos too and i love the photo of Sophie in the soggy puddles. Those wellies have really been put to good use. Thank you for sharing a really interesting trip with me on #CountryKids.

    1. Thank you Fiona – some of the facts I find out beforehand but I do like to do a bit of extra research before I write up the post too – the history behind places fascinates me. I think you’re right about the reason why the chairs were fenced off. We’ve definitely made good use of the wellies over the last few weeks – there’s been a lot of jumping in puddles! 🙂

  2. I love reading all the history about Runnymede too! It’s fascinating too that it’s famous for such an event so significant in British history and then there’s also a memorial to a US president.

    1. It is interesting to see the two together – I didn’t know about the JFK memorial until we actually visited.

  3. Really fascinating information about where the name runnymede derives from. The art installation representing the magna carta looks fab too. Although my two would have been trying to get under the barrier to sit on the seats! The last photo of Sophie jumping in the puddles made me laugh. A day out isn’t complete unless there has been some puddle jumping 🙂 #countrykids

    1. Thank you Emma – my two would have tried too although Jessica was in the carrier which made it a lot easier to stop Sophie trying to get to the chairs! Definitely agree that a day out isn’t complete without some puddle jumping! 🙂

  4. Aww bless – did you read the book ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ before bed? Lovely to read your adventures. #countrykids

    1. It was the first time we’d visited Donna – I’m hoping to go back soon and see if I can find some bluebells. It’s not too far from us either x

    1. I’m sure Monkey would love it – there’s so much space to run around and plenty of sticks! 🙂

  5. Hubby didn’t too badly with the camera, did he?! And it’s always lovely to see you in the photos – like you I’m normally behind the camera! It looks like an amazing place and the art installation with the chairs looks fascinating, I’m surprised the girls weren’t wriggling to sit on them – I think mine would’ve been!
    Glad you could all get out together as a family, looks like a really happy day out

    1. It was nice to be in the photos – hubby is a fairly good photographer although his style is quite different to mine – he does a lot more close-ups than I do. I think the girls would have been trying to sit in the chairs had Jessica not been in the carrier which made it easier to keep hold of Sophie! x

  6. I always assumed that Runnymede was just a field (like when you go and see the sites of famous battles in history and they are just fields) – didn’t realise there was much more there. Love the art installation!

    1. It is mostly fields and meadows but there are the memorials and the art installation to look at as well

  7. I lived near Runnymede just over 10 years ago and loved going for walks around there. It’s a bit of a trek from where we are now, but I’m sure we’ll get there for a trip sometime.

    It looks like you all had a great time, and wow that is an impressive puddle! I bet she didn’t think it’s be that deep 🙂

    1. We had a lovely walk and there were lots of puddles like that one – Sophie was having a wonderful time investigating them all!

  8. Those chairs /installation looks really interesting. Shame it was fenced off but makes sense given the boggyness.

    Looks like it was a nice walk, not somewhere I’ve been even though I’m from Windsor and lived there for 7 years as a child

    1. It’s funny how you often don’t visit places in areas where you grow up – we visited some places over Christmas near where I grew up that I had never been to before despite living so close by.

  9. I love the Magna Carta instillation with the chairs. That’s a nice touch. It’s always good to get in the family photos for a change. K

    1. I found that installation quite interesting too and yes, it was nice to be in the photos for once! 🙂

  10. Such an important place! Those chairs and what they stand for (and the place in general) is just amazing. I think that if you are a student and you want to learn more you should visit this place as you will experience the knowledge and not just learn it from books! #countrykids

    1. I love visiting places that have history attached to them – it’s such a wonderful way of helping that history to come alive and much better than just learning from books 🙂

  11. Lovely pictures of you and the girls Louise – you need to hand over the camera to hubby more often! He did a great job. I particularly love that last one of Sophie nearly flooding her wellies! Tin Box Tot’s socks would have been ruined!! #countrykids

    1. Thank you Claire – he’s good with the camera so I don’t mind handing it over every so often! I love the one of Sophie too – the socks just about managed to stay dry! 🙂

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