Parliamentary Medievalism: The Australian Magna Carta as Secular Relic

South-west of the National Rose Garden in Canberra is a small park, called Magna Carta Place. The National Capital Authority describes it as 'a distinguished timeless venue, perfect for any small event.' The guide goes on:

Magna Carta place is a regal open space venue located in the centre of the Parliamentary zone, nestled next to the Old Parliament House Gardens. Magna Carta Place commemorates the history ofMagna Carta and its relevance to the freedom and laws ofAustralia. The Magna Carta Monument was the gift of the Australia-Britain Society and the British Government for our Centenary of Federation. The Magna Carta Place Monument features a bronze dome pavilion which is enriched by a hand- crafted look, making it a place of dignity and reflection, suitable for any special event. Magna Carta Place is suitable for a variety of events such as: - Weddings; - Private Functions; - Cocktail Parties.

There are many links between Australian parliaments and their medieval antecedents, but the connection with Magna Carta is one of the most familiar, and most popular. The connection is made especially tangible with the Federal Parliament's own thirteenth-century manuscript of the document placed in a special display in Parliament House, a connection that is affirmed by this monument to the medieval text in this 'regal open space venue' in the parliamentary precinct.

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Published 1 November 2011 in Volume 26 No. 3-4. Subjects: Medievalism.

Cite as: Trigg, Stephanie. ‘Parliamentary Medievalism: The Australian Magna Carta as Secular Relic.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 26, no. 3-4, 2011, doi: 10.20314/als.65cfd92aaa.