The best-preserved of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta, held in the Chapter House at Salisbury Cathedral, is 795 years old today.
The Magna Carta, signed in AD1215 by King John at Runnymede in Surrey, not only marked the end of a feudal system ruled over by an all-powerful King but was the original charter of citizen's rights.
It was Elias of Dereham, a steward to the Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton (depicted here with King John), who entrusted with delivering 10 of the 13 copies made - gave one to Old Sarum.
Mark Bonny, the cathedral's canon treasurer, said: "It's been in the cathedral's archives as long as we know and unlike some of the other copies that are left - it is in fine condition."
Written in Latin on parchment - only three of the 63 original clauses are still law today. "There are some that are really anachronistic - like if you'd been leant money by a Jew then you don't have to pay it back," said Mr Bonny.
Viewable during normal visitor opening hours in the cathedral's Chapter house, the historic document is held in a tightly sealed cabinet to preserve it.
"It wasn't always like that," adds Mr Bonny. "There are some lovely stories about one of the previous librarians - 50 or 60 years ago - taking it home every night and keeping it under her bed."
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