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Magna Carta Place

Home > Canberra > Places of Interest | Parks | Free | Cultural Events
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published September 28th 2015
A historical monument with surprise for the kids
Whilst driving around the Parliamentary Triangle trying to find my way, I have often driven past Magna Carta Place and wondered what it was. The grassy reserve and monument is situated at the T-Junction as you drive into the Parliamentary Triangle from Commonwealth Avenue. After a visit to the Pork Barrel Café across the road, it was the perfect excuse stay longer and learn more about this intriguing monument.

Magna Carta Place, Canberra, Parliamentary Triangle, ACT
Magna Carta Place

Magna Carta Place, Canberra, Parliamentary Triangle, ACT
Magna Carta Monument.

The Magna Carta Monument was a gift to the people of Australia from the British Government to commemorate the centenary of Federation of Australia. It was opened in 1997 on the 700th anniversary of the sealing of the 1297 issue of the Magna Carta by King Edward the Ist.

The Magna Carta is the document originally written by King Edward 1st in 1215 which is the basis on Australia's law today. It is one of the most celebrated documents in English history and the laws relate to the liberty and rights of citizens.

There is an original copy of the later 1297 version of the Magna Carta in Parliament House for viewing. It was purchased from the King's School, Somerset in 1952 for £12500 and is now seen as priceless.

Magna Carta Place, Magna Carta Monument, Canberra, tourist attractions canberra
Australia's Magna Carta at Parliament House. Source: www.australiasmagnacarta.wordpress.com

Magna Carta Place, Canberra, Parliamentary Triangle, ACT
Bench seat in the park donated by Kings School, where Australia's Magna Carta copy was purchased.

Magna Carta Place, Canberra, Parliamentary Triangle, ACT
There are several bench seats around the outside of the Place to enjoy the view.

The monument itself was designed by a Canberra based architect and has significance in each aspect of its design. The mound behind the monument is intended to represent the ancient burial mounds of the English countryside. It then shows the mound cut open and its treasures "unburied" to reveal the pavilion and its foundation stone "representative of Magna Carta as a symbolic treasure of humanity".

Magna Carta Place, Canberra, Parliamentary Triangle, ACT
Mound cut open to reveal the treasure.

The monument itself is an interesting dome as you walk inside of it. If you stand on the central dome, your voice and footsteps echo due to the high metal dome roof above. In the centre of the Pavilion is the foundation stone, under which is buried a time capsule to be opened in 2101.

Magna Carta Place, Canberra, Parliamentary Triangle, ACT
Inside the monument.

Around the outside of the dome is Latin text from the Magna Carta.

Magna Carta Place, Canberra, Parliamentary Triangle, ACT
Latin text on dome.

There are also etchings either side of the monument depicting the history of the Magna Carta. For more details on monument design, see here.

Magna Carta Place, Canberra, Parliamentary Triangle, ACT
Monument etchings.

Magna Carta Place is a fascinating attraction to visit if you have an interest in the Magna Carta and its' history. If you park your car to explore the Old Parliament House Rose Gardens or have a bite to eat at Pork Barrel Café, this park is walking distance from both so you can include it in your stop.

With so much to see in the Parliamentary Triangle, this is one of many sites to visit whilst exploring the landmarks of Canberra. For kids, the monument makes a great stage to put on a show with perfect acoustics for singing.

Listening to their echo inside the monument will also be a great source of entertainment for some time...

Magna Carta Place, Canberra, Parliamentary Triangle, ACT
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Why? Learn about the Magna Carta and enjoy a run in the park whilst in the Parliamentary Triangle.
Where: Magna Carta Place, Langton Crescent, Parkes, ACT
Cost: Free
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