Banner depicting historic moment donated to Lewes

Photo by UK Parliament/Roger Harris. SUS-160802-125755001
Photo by UK Parliament/Roger Harris. SUS-160802-125755001

The Houses of Parliament have gifted the original commemorative ‘1265 Simon de Montfort parliament’ banner to Lewes Town Council.

Following the culmination of the Houses of Parliament’s year-long banner exhibition ‘The Beginning of that Freedome’, which formed part of the 2015 anniversaries programme to commemorate 750 years since the Simon de Montfort parliament (1265) and 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta (1215), the artworks will be gifted to organisations across the UK.

Through a year-long programme, entitled ‘Parliament in the Making’, Parliament brought these important anniversaries to life in various ways – through cultural and education projects, art commissions, conferences, talks, debates, ceremonial events, and learning resources.

Now that the public exhibition has finished, following an open call for applications, the banners will be given to appropriate organisations. Through gifting the banners people will have opportunities to see and interact with them, in a variety of locations across the UK, on an ongoing basis.

Lewes Town Council has been selected to receive the ‘1265 Simon de Montfort parliament’ banner. The banner will be hang in the Corn Exchange, alongside wall panels that tell the history of Britain’s long struggle for individual and collective freedoms and human rights, which were originally produced by the British Library for its ’Taking Liberties’ exhibition in 2008/09. The Corn Exchange currently has more than 30,000 visitors each year.

Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, said: “I am thrilled that Lewes Town Council has been selected to receive the 1265 Simon de Montfort Parliament banner. It seems fitting, as Lewes was the site of Simon de Montfort’s victory over Henry III. That battle ultimately led to Montfort calling a ground-breaking Parliament in January 1265, to which Lewes itself sent two burgesses.

“Having been on public display in Parliament’s Westminster Hall throughout 2015, it is fantastic that residents in Lewes and the surrounding area, as well as large numbers of tourists and visitors to the town, will have the opportunity to see the banner closer to home.”

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