Ralph Appelbaum Associates

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Lincoln Castle Revealed, Lincoln Castle

Lincolnshire County, England

Lincoln Castle is a major medieval castle built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror. RAA worked closely with Lincolnshire County Council to develop its major, new visitor experience. This magnificent Scheduled Ancient Monument features remarkable listed building assets, including the remains of a Norman motte and bailey Castle, an early Pentonville-style prison, and a working Victorian courthouse.

The centerpiece of the experience is a stunning new exhibition of two of Britain’s most important and valuable historic documents: the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest. These are explored in relation to powerful themes of accountability, justice, and power.

As visitors enter, they are introduced to the two-story Great Charter Wall, a transcription of the Magna Carta carved into stone with gold lettering highlighting the four clauses that still stand in modern law today. Next, visitors descend into a 210º “Magna Carta in the Round” cinema where they are taken through a series of films explaining the Magna Carta, the Charter of the Forest, and their connection to Lincoln. The films are split into two chapters and contain live and animated content, including some historical reenactment and typographic content.

Finally, the exhibition ends with a secure subterranean vault where Lincoln’s 1215 copy of the Magna Carta – one of only four copies in existence – sits with The Charter of the Forest. These are joined by a third “guest document” which is rotated, borrowed from Lincoln Cathedral’s Archives and other national collections. Site-wide interpretation connects the ancient grounds to the Castle’s vivid history.

Developed in time for the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, the project was unveiled in a royal opening.

Size 326,695 square feet

Year 2015