A passion for the Plantagenets led me to volunteer at Worcester Cathedral as a King John guide. The process started back in March when the Cathedral officially opened its fantastic Magna Carta exhibition and hosted an event to mark the beginning of the programme of events that will carry on until October 2016.
The role of a King John guide is to deliver an insightful and informative talk to visitors who are interested in the historical background to King John’s connection with the cathedral and also details about King John as a man, a ruler and how he fitted into the political and religious context of that part of the medieval period. Although I have a knowledge about the Plantagenets this opportunity has enabled me to explore and study King John specifically and to learn from other guides.
King John was born in 1166. He was the youngest child and the fifth son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, so it was against all the odds that he became king at all. He was a controversial king reigning from 1166 – 1216, often referred to as ‘Bad King John’ as depicted in the legends of Robin Hood. His life was largely spent managing religious and political power bases in Europe and keeping the country solvent, so was he judged too harshly?
As part of Worcester Festival which runs from 15 – 31 August Worcester cathedral are hosting a series of events called Discover Something Different. On Thursday 27 August at 2.30pm I will be giving a talk about King John next to his tomb in the Cathedral Quire. It would be brilliant if you could come along. The talk lasts for about 45 mins, there is a £6.00 charge and tickets are available from the Worcester Live box office at Huntingdon Hall, or from Worcester cathedral shop on the day. You can book and pay for tickets by phone 01905 611427 but there is a £1.95 booking charge.
I hope to see you there, all the best Clare!