The 1297 Magna Carta will spearhead the launch of the new City of London Heritage Gallery which opens to the public on Friday 12 September. Admission will be free to this permanent, purpose-built exhibition space which will showcase a rotating selection of rare, fascinating and sometimes surprising documents from the City of London Corporation’s archives.
The Magna Carta is described as the world’s first ‘Post-It’ note, and interestingly, London is the only city specifically to be named! To tie in with the centenary of the beginning of World War One, the exhibition will also include a poster for a recruitment meeting held at Guildhall in 1914. Have you ever wondered what life was like in London during the war? Well, you will be able to see Minutes of the London County Council’s Emergency Committee in the Gallery, where it shows that wartime food prices rose sharply, as did unemployment. The Gallery will also look at the contribution made by London’s diverse communities, such as the Irish dockworkers and the arrival of African-Caribbean immigrants in the late 1940s, providing a ‘house of history’ for London past, present and the future.
Other exhibits on display include the Cartae Antiquae, containing transcripts of medieval charters and statutes from the reign of Richard III, whose remains were discovered in Leicester in 2013. The City of London Corporation also owns a set of paintings of all 25 City Aldermen who were in post in the mid-fifteenth century, which give a fascinating glimpse of the men who governed the medieval City. For more information, visit www.cityoflondon.gov.uk.