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Runnymede is a water-meadow alongside the River Thames in the county of Surrey, England, associated with the signing of the Magna Carta and today the site of a collection of memorials.


The water-meadow at Runnymede is the most likely location at which, in 1215, King John sealed the Magna Carta, and the charter itself indicates Runnymede by name.

It has been disputed whether the ceremony took place actually in the meadow, or on Magna Carta Island, a small (and now private) island in the Thames adjacent to the meadow, or at Ankerwycke, an ancient place adjoining Magna Carta Island on the far bank. Although the latter two locations are now in Berkshire, they may have been considered part of Runnymede at the time.

Twenty miles southwest of London, Runnymede Meadow, with adjoining lands totalling 182 acres, was presented to the National Trust by the first Lady Fairhaven and her two sons in memory of Urban Hanlon Broughton in 1929. The memorial to Broughton consists of the kiosks, piers and lodges ('The Fairhaven Lodges') at the Windsor end designed by Edwin Lutyens.


Runnymede is an attractive riverside meadow and adjoining woodland, albeit somewhat disturbed by a busy road. Because of its historical connections, Runnymede is the site of several memorials. These are all located amongst the trees of Coopers Hill, which backs the water-meadow.

Air Forces Memorial

The Air Forces Memorial commemorates the men and women of the Allied Air Forces who died during the Second World War and records the names of the 20,456 airmen who have no known grave.

From the top of the tower visitors can see long views over Windsor, the surrounding counties and, somehow appropriately, aircraft taking off and landing at Heathrow. The memorial was designed by Edward Maufe, architect of Guildford Cathedral.

John F. Kennedy Memorial

memorial tablet inscribed with the famous quote from his Inaugural Address:

Visitors reach the memorial by treading a steep path of irregular granite steps, intended to symbolise a pilgrimage. The area of ground that the memorial is situated on was given as a gift to the United States of America by the People of Britain, and as such it is American territory. (It is an extraterritorial site in roughly the same sort of way that an embassy is considered to be. A similar situation exists in Hawaii, where the spot on which James Cook died has been given to Britain.) It is maintained by the Kennedy Memorial Trust, which also sponsors educational scholarships for British students to attend university in the United States.

Magna Carta Memorial

Built by the American Bar Association, this memorial is of a domed classical style, containing a pillar of English granite on which is inscribed "To commemorate Magna Carta, symbol of Freedom Under Law".

Cooper's Hill House

A large house on Cooper's Hill, overlooking Runnymede and the River Thames, has played a number of roles – as the Royal Indian Engineering College, wartime Post Office headquarters, storage for the Statue of Eros during World War II, an emergency teacher training college, Shoreditch College – a centre for craft and handiwork education, and most recently, Brunel University's design school(has removed to Uxbridge Main Campus).


Runnymede is owned by the National Trust and is open during daylight hours, seven days a week, at no charge.


Runnymede is located on the banks of the River Thames, and on the A308 road in Egham about 4 miles east of Windsor. It is about 19 miles west of the centre of London. Its historical significance has been heavily influenced by its proximity to the Roman Road river crossing at nearby Staines. The last fatal duel in England took place on Priest Hill, which borders with Runnymede, in 1852.




* Toronto, Ontario: Runnymede Road; Runnymede subway station
* Victoria, British Columbia: Runnymede Avenue


* Joinville-le-Pont, Val de Marne, Île de France, France : place de Runnymede


* La Moraleja, Madrid: International British School

External links

* [ Runnymede information at the National Trust]
* [ Images & information about the Air Forces Memorial Runnymede]
* [ Shoreditch College, Information about the former teacher's college at Cooper's Hill House]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Runnymede — place in Surrey where the Magna Charta was signed, M.E. Ronimede, lit. meadow on the council island, from O.E. runieg council island, from run in sense of council (see RUNE (Cf. rune)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Runnymede — [run′ē mēd΄] meadow on the S bank of the Thames, southwest of London: see MAGNA CARTA …   English World dictionary

  • Runnymede — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Runnymede (homonymie). Runnymede Administration Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Runnymede — Borough of Runnymede Lage in Surrey Status Borough Region South East England Verw.grafschaft Surrey …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Runnymede — /run i meed /, n. a meadow on the S bank of the Thames, W of London, England: reputed site of the granting of the Magna Charta by King John, 1215. * * * ▪ district, England, United Kingdom       borough (district) in the northwestern part of the… …   Universalium

  • Runnymede — /run i meed /, n. a meadow on the S bank of the Thames, W of London, England: reputed site of the granting of the Magna Charta by King John, 1215. * * * Runnymede [Runnymede] a field beside the River ↑Thames near ↑Windsor 1, famous as the place… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Runnymede — geographical name meadow S England in Surrey on S bank of the Thames …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Runnymede — noun A water meadow, near the Thames in Surrey, where Magna Carta was signed …   Wiktionary

  • Runnymede — Run|ny|mede a field near the River Thames at Egham, southern England, where it is believed that King ↑John signed the ↑Magna Carta in 1215. There is also a small area of land there which was given to the American people in 1965, and which… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Runnymede —  . Meadow in Surrey, England, where King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215 …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors