LOTTERY funding is to be allocated to Salisbury Cathedral to support plans to prepare for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

The cathedral is home to the finest of the four surviving original copies of the document, which was drafted in 1215 and curtails the powers of the monarchy.

In order to ‘unlock’ the Heritage Lottery Fund money of £500,000, the cathedral will need to raise nearly £200,000 in partnership funding. Wilsons Solicitors LLP, the oldest legal business headquartered in Salisbury, has already pledged £30,000 towards this total.

Managing partner Andrew Roberts said: “Magna Carta is probably the most famous document in English legal history. Its application of the rule of law to all, including the state, continues to underlie the personal and commercial freedoms that we enjoy today.

“We feel privileged to be the first business to support this internationally important project to showcase this document, its context and impact."

Plans are advanced to re-display and re-present the Magna Carta in the Chapter House alongside other documents from the cathedral’s extensive archive, using the latest interpretation techniques to communicate Magna Carta’s historic background and modern significance to the many extra visitors expected in 2015 and beyond.

Martin Field, the cathedral’s deputy chapter clerk and development director said: “We are delighted to have received this support from the Heritage Lottery Fund allowing us to develop our exciting plans for a new Magna Carta exhibition and other celebratory activities in 2015, bringing Magna Carta to many new audiences.

"The ‘Great Charter’ has inspired and influenced people to stand up for justice and freedom around the globe and across the ages.

“People will be able to come to Salisbury and experience for themselves the extraordinary sway the ideas expressed in this document continue to hold.”

Further details of the anniversary celebrations are expected to be revealed next month.