THE chairman of the Magna Carta Trust visited Odiham to get an insight into how the village will mark the historic document’s 800th anniversary.

Sir Robert Worcester visited King John’s Castle, from where the monarch set out on June 10, 1215, to meet baronial leaders at Runnymede in Berkshire.

Their agreement formed the basis for the Magna Carta – a document that listed basic rights, including that no-one was above the law.

As reported in The Gazette, Odiham has been preparing for the 2015 celebrations, with volunteers stitching a giant tapestry reflecting the village’s history.

John Champion, chairman of The Odiham Society, said: “Sir Robert has a passion for castles and history and was delighted to hear of plans to clear the moat, improve access and undertake further original archaeological investigations nearby.

“He then continued to Odiham where he was able to visit All Saints Church and the library, where the Odiham Embroidery will be displayed once it has been framed.”

He added: “Odiham has been preparing for 2015 for more than two years already and has taken the lead in Hampshire plans, aiming to serve the surrounding villages, towns and counties through events and projects that celebrate and explain our heritage and the legacy of democracy that we enjoy today.”

The festival in Odiham will start with a choral concert on June 16 next year, followed by events on the bank holiday weekend of May 22 to 25.

These will include a medieval market in The Bury, archery in the chalk pit, and medieval living and displays at King John’s Castle.

Two weeks later there will be a journey to Runnymede by foot, cycle, mountain bike and canoe, commemorating King John’s movements on June 10, 1215, ending with a picnic on the banks of the River Thames.