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Royal Holloway and Magna Carta


view of runnymede from foundersMagna Carta, or ‘The Great Charter’ was sealed in June 1215. While the actual document has become a museum piece, the principles it stood for; protecting freedom and personal liberty, have remained a constant over 800 years.

As each new generation has faced a real or imagined threat to their freedom and personal liberty, they have evolved their concept of the rule of law, one that was born in a field in Runnymede in Surrey, in a constant campaign to protect the freedoms and liberties they valued. 

In this digital age, we are battling complex challenges that span the globe and present a genuine threat to our liberty and freedom.  Those living 800 years ago would recognise the fear these threats engender, but their form is unique to our age; international terrorism, global pandemic, mass media, trolls and cyber-attacks.  Much like our forefathers, we too need champions, leaders who will step forward and help us to navigate the future.  

The field where Magna Carta was sealed is today part of the Borough of Runnymede, home to Royal Holloway, University of London. Here, just a few miles from that historic site, some of the world’s brightest minds tackle today’s threats to our freedom and personal liberty, continuing to pursue a vision enshrined 800 years ago.  Our world leading academics in computer science, criminology, cyber security, data science, economics, geography, history and classics, politics, psychology and social and public policy work with governments, industry, NGOs, local community groups, schools and fellow teachers, researchers and academics around the world to ensure principles established on our doorstep 800 years ago survive to be passed onto the next generation.

To find out more about Magna Carta celebrations across the UK, visit the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee's website.



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