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Curry Mallet’s Celebrations

In 2015 we celebrated the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta with a very wide range of planned activity.

A  summary of events that took place in Curry Mallet in 2015 is in the pdf file Curry Mallet Magna Carta Events 2015 with many pictures of people and events. Take a look!

We were involved because William Malet, Lord of Curry Mallet, was one of 25 barons elected as guarantors of the sealing of Magna Carta by a reluctant King John on 15th June 1215. Curry Mallet is the most westerly of the 22 caputs (the 25 barons’ main manors) represented at Runnymede that day. June 15th 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of one of the most notable days in history.

We organised a weekend of varied activities involving the whole community and worked with our village school (rated outstanding by Ofsted) to produce curriculum materials and resources for themselves and to share with other schools.

These two activities were embedded in a wide range of supportive community projects. These included an archaeological dig to attempt to locate the original medieval village, establishment of a heritage trail and production of commemorative items such as a banner and silver communion cup for our grade I listed church – heritage for the future.

Curry Mallet’s projects formed part of the national Magna Carta celebration. which was organized by the Magna Carta Trust 800th Committee and representatives from each of the barons’ communities – the Magna Carta Barons Association.

Listed below are the various projects and events (including those  supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund which are marked with an asterisk). It shows our outline plans from October 2014 and they were  regularly updated as we made progress.

October 2014 – Local competition to design a village flag and village sign (closing date 31st January 2015)

October 2014 ongoing – Limited editions of specially designed pottery memorabilia

October 2014 – Local competition to design a village flag and village sign (closing date 31st January 2015). Winner has been announced.

October 2014 ongoing – Limited editions of specially designed pottery memorabiliaand “Veni, Sancte Spiritus” Magna Carta piece by Malcolm Archer

November 2014 – Barons meeting in Leicester and receipt of Magna Carta facsimile with accompanying translation

January 2015 – National adults’ and children’s short story competition which was  announced on the internet. Adults’ stories were judged by Julia Copus renowned award winning poet and children’s author and the theme for adults and older children will be “Rebellion”.  The children’s stories were judged by Barbara Spencer popular author of ten great books for children, teens and young adults. The younger children were asked to write a story about a wonder horse and/or a wonder cat

April 2nd 2015 – Family Race Day at Taunton Racecourse with one race called “Curry Mallet Magna Carta Celebration Chase”

April 18th 2015 – FundraiserTable Top Sale at the Village Hall

Spring and Summer Term 2015 – Magna Carta formed part of school curriculum

Spring and Summer Term 2015 – Production of a commemorative mug by local potter who worked with the schoolchildren who  produced their own seals and design packaging*

Spring and Summer Term – School and community project: collaged map of village is displayed in a wooden frame in village hall*.

April/May/June 2015 – Exhibitions with Barons’ shared common material/localized panels went to 9 venues including libraries, and Castle House, Taunton*

April 14th to 26th 2015  – Exhibition at Castle House, Taunton of twelve specially commissioned A1 embroidered panels by Rhoda Nevins, Royal Embroiderer, depicting the sealing of the Magna Carta. Display panels about Magna Carta and Curry Mallet were also be on display.

Summer Term 2015 – School project:  ‘A story walk’ with professional producer/director was produced*

Summer Term 2015 – School project: production of educational package was made available to outside sources*

Summer Term – School project: A time capsule was buried on June 18th 2015   to be opened in 2115*

Summer Term – School project: banner making in conjuction with Somerset Art Weeks. was organised.  Flag making

May/June 2015 – Heritage trails were completed and added to the website under Local Information Footpaths and Walks*

May/June 2015 –  Two entry signs were completed and a special village sign was completed in January 2016 which is  under planted with Magna Charta roses

June 6th 2015 (evening) – The Bagehot FundMagna Carta Debate was held at Huish Episcopi Academy as part of the Langport Festival

Magna Carta Weekend

June 13th 2015

Church: 10.00 – 4.00pm – Exhibition and Archaelogical Dig next to Church

School: 10.00 – 4.00pm Open Day

o   Banners

o   Flags

o   History Tunnel

o   Children’s Work

o   Story Walks

Marquee – School Field: 7.30pm till late Party. (Tickets went on sale approximately six weeks before the event)

o   Food

o   Band – The Midrod Ends

o   Licensed Bar

o   Raffle

June 14th 2015

Church: 9.15“Strike a Blow for Democracy” forming part of the national peal of bells. 10.00 – service to dedicate locally embroidered banner and a newly designed silver communion cup. Special choral performance of   “An Anthem for England” by Jeffrey Joseph .

School: 10.00am to 4.00pm – Open Day

Glebe Field next to Church FREE – EVERYONE WAS WELCOME

  • 11.30-11.45 pageant and re-enactment of sealing of Magna Carta by the schoolchildren
  • 1.00 picnic as part of national “Liberteas” ( everyone brought their own food, tables and chairs and/or rugs)
  • A history re-enactment group was on hand throughout the day, among other things they  demonstrated how food was cooked in medieval times for tasting, there was  armour to try on and archery to practice.
  • Archaelogical Dig and Finds
  • Live music from Stampita
  • Birds of Prey
  • PFTA Stalls

Video of this day is on YouTube at

June 20th 2015 – Lance Allen, Trowbridge’s Town Clerk,  set off from Curry Mallet on an 800 mile cycle ride visiting all the 22 Barons’ town and villages as far as Northumberland and then back to Trowbridge, all within 8 days.

July 10th 2015 – Class 3, Curry Mallet School, took part in world premiere of Magna Cantata in Salisbury Cathedral

The Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee

International celebrations kicked off early in 2014 with a series of lectures in Houston, Texas, USA. In England they began at Easter in Bury St Edmunds. This city is holding its celebrations in 2014 to commemorate the barons first meeting there in 1214 to plan their campaign against King John; their coats of arms can be seen in the cathedral.  In the grounds of the ruined abbey behind the cathedral there are two commemorative plaques naming the barons and dated 1849.

On Monday June 15th 2015 the Queen  headed a special day of celebration

The Magna Carta Barons Association

For the first time since the twenty five barons met at Runnymede eight hundred years ago representatives from what were those barons’ chief manors (map showing main manors (caputs)) assembled in Bury St Edmunds in May 2013 and then in Leicester on 27 September 2013 to form the Magna Carta Barons Association.

Working closely with the 800th committee it was agreed that selective joint events would be held, as well as local events, with lasting legacies produced for future generations. Information about the barons can be found on