Surrey Gardens Trust Visit: Runnymede with Annabel Downs

Date: Tuesday 23 April 2024

Club: Surrey Gardens Trust

Contact: Sheri Sticpewich



This visit is not to a garden that typically SGT might visit; there are no flowers or water features, instead it is a Grade II listed designed landscape, hidden amongst the other Magna Carta gems at Runnymede.

The site forms part of Britain’s tribute to former American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963. The area of land, part of the Crown Estate was vested into the United States of America by Her Majesty the Queen and her government.

The Memorial was designed by Sir Geoffery Jellicoe, one of the 20th century’s leading landscape architects. Our expert guide Annabel Downs will explain the significance of the Stone, the Steps and The Seats. The mathematically designed Memorial is set within an intentionally natural landscape enveloped by the purposefully unkempt appearance of the woodland. As with all Jellicoe designs there is sophisticated symbolism to be unpacked. Our time there will include drinking in the views to Windsor from the Seats of Contemplation. Our walking tour guide will also expand on Annabel’s research into the politics behind this very special Memorial.

The tour will take up to 1.5 hours and is not appropriate for those with difficulty climbing uneven steps. The stonework too can be slippery in wet weather.

SGT Members: £10 pp.

Includes guided tour of the site but does not include refreshments. Refreshments can be purchased at the National Trust tea room next to the parking area. For more information, please click here.