INTERNATIONAL rap star Jay-Z was in Salisbury yesterday to pay a private visit to the Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral.

Fans of the hip-hop legend were amazed to see him driving through the city in a classic Aston Martin in the late morning sunshine.

Jay- Z, who was not accompanied by his wife Beyonce, was spotted by hundreds of cathedral visitors and posed for pictures as he toured the Chapter House where the Magna Carta is displayed.

The visit was arranged at very short notice before Jay-Z headed back to London to perform as the headline act at the Wireless music festival.

The performer chose Salisbury Cathedral as the location for the global launch of the artwork for his new album Magna Carta…Holy Grail, which was released last Monday.

The cover design for the album is on display in the Chapter House and will remain there until the end of the month.

The cathedral is home to one of four surviving original copies of the 1215 Magna Carta which inspired Jaz-Z’s album with the words “To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay, right or justice.”

In 2015 Salisbury’s Magna Carta will be united with the three other surviving copies of the document at the British Library in London.

The unification plan will mark the 800th anniversary of the issue of the Charter by King John and see the four copies brought together for the first time in history.

It will provide an opportunity for researchers and the public to see the documents side by side and 1,215 adults and children will be able to enter a ballot to win free tickets to see the unified manuscripts.

Over three days the manuscripts will be examined in the British Library’s Conservation Centre by some of the world’s leading experts on the documents who are currently undertaking a major research project on Magna Carta and the charters of King John.