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The Runnymede Memorial


The Kennedy Memorial is situated at Runnymede in Surrey, above the meadow on the banks of the Thames where King John sealed the Magna Carta in 1215.

Although the Kennedy Trust is responsible for the Memorial, it is maintained by the National Trust and you can find out more about the area and see a map at the National Trust website.  The post code for the car park closest to the Memorial is SL4 2JL.

The Memorial was designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, who drew on The Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan's allegory of life as a journey, as inspiration for the design of the site. Learn more about the memorial journey he envisaged.

There are three elements to the Memorial:

  • a stepped pathway, made up of 60,000 granite setts winds up through woodland to bring the visitor to the glade where ...
  • ... a seven ton block of Portland stone (pictured) stands on a plinth and is inscribed with words taken from President Kennedy's inaugural address in 1961
  • a paved pathway leads to the Seats of Contemplation (the end of the journey) from where there is a superb view of Runnymede

The Memorial was opened by the Queen on the 14th May 1965 in the presence of the Prime Minister, Mrs Jacqueline Kennedy, and many members of the Kennedy family. The memorial was listed in 1998, and the wider memorial landscape has recently been added to the Register of Parks and Gardens.

Scholar Profiles
Chris Greenwood, 1995

The Kennedy scholarship came after the first year at Trinity. It changed my life.

Chris Greenwood, 1995

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