A Weekend of Baron Hunting
This year Salisbury is celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta in Salisbury is unique in that it is the only copy that has remained in the place where it was put, all those years ago. To celebrate, there have been all sorts of celebrations this Summer, but by far our favourite is the Barons’ Charter.
The Trussell Trust are celebrating the 800th year of the Magna Carta with a very special art trail. Until 6th September, 25 life-sized, medieval Barons are dotted about the city, each individually decorated by a local artist. When they appeared overnight on June 12th, it was great to walk around town and see people jolted out of their early morning zombie-walks to work by these massive, beautifully decorated Barons.
Over the last few weeks, S has enjoyed spotting new Barons as we’ve been out and about on our travels. There are several right in the city centre, with 2 in the shopping centre near nursery and another 3 close together in the Guildhall Square, which we cross on our way to and from the shops most days.
There are several further afield though, which we had not yet seen. When S came home from nursery with a map of the Barons’ Trail on Friday, we decided this weekend would be the time for us to go Baron hunting!
On Saturday morning, we headed for the Arts Centre, where our map told us there were two…
This was the first one we spotted, the Stained Glass Flower Baron. Isn’t he gorgeous?
A few feet away we found…
This Baron is named Oh Deer! and has a wonderful cartoon covering him.
After the Arts Centre grounds, we headed for the park at Bourne Hill, sometimes called the Secret Garden. On our way we met a German man who is in Salisbury with his work and was doing the Barons’ Trail. We exchanged notes on where they were hiding and S showed him her map, which you can see in most pictures – because she wouldn’t put it down!
This is the Magna Carta Baron; he sits just inside the entrance to the Secret Garden from the Council House (now the registry office). It took me several attempts to get this photo, because no sooner had we reached this one, we spotted…
This one was a definite favourite. He is named The Tree from the Garden of Life and was decorated by artist Susan Francis and clients from Morning Star, which is a Christian charity working with the homeless and those suffering with addictions.
S spent a lot of time running between these two Barons, encouraging me to chase her. It took me ages to persuade her that we should go and get a treat after all that running around…
On Sunday, we decided to go and find the fireman baron. He’s featured on all the leaflets, and S had been asking to go and see him for ages – but he’s at the fire station, and that’s a fair walk out of town. We got the buggy out and went for it.
On the way to the fire station, we stopped off at Waitrose to visit the Green Man Baron. S was very excited to see the fireman by this point…
We found him! Baron Button is outside the front of the fire station and has several pictures of fire fighters on him. S was so excited to find him – even more so when a fire engine pulled out behind us and drove off up the road as we left!
We headed home for lunch, after which we decided to head out to find more Barons…
This is the Stonehenge Winter Solstice Druid Baron. He’s outside M&S in town, and we pass him most days on our way into town after nursery. Despite being a familiar sight by now, he still gets a wave and we often stop to say hello to him.
This is the King of Hearts Baron; he lives at the top of the Old George Mall and has Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) on his back. Again, a familiar sight by now but we still love him!
This was one we’d not seen before – though I think S saw him on a recent trip to the museum with nursery. He’s a Discworld Knight in honour of Sir Terry Pratchett who lived locally. Despite several people having told me to check out his back because it’s amazing, I forgot to look – so we’ll be going back soon!
S absolutely loves Astro Baron; he’s outside the local museum and his face is reflective. She demanded to be held up to look in the mirror!
After the Astro Baron we got a little bit sidetracked…
These flags are an installation on the lawn at the front of the cathedral. I didn’t manage to read a lot of the sign beside them, because I was busy trying to keep an eye out for S as she darted between them. This blog post can tell you more about them, but as it turns out they’re nothing to do with the Magna Carta celebrations. It was so lovely to see so many little legs running about among the flags, with whooping and cheering as they chased each other. Standing in the middle of the installation was amazing as well, with a wonderful cacophony of the flags blowing in the wind. S had such a fantastic time, she would have stayed there all day if I’d let her… but we had some Barons to find, and so off we went…
This is the Quintessentially British Baron, with whom we were quite impressed – as you can see from the thumbs up! Note – S is still carrying a map everywhere with her at this point!
This is the MC800 Baron, the last Baron we found on Sunday. S was so excited to find so many Barons in one weekend, as you can see from her face!
This post hasn’t included all of the 25 Barons; some we’ve already seen so didn’t track down over the weekend. We have three left to find though, and plan to go and find them on our day off tomorrow. Watch this space!
The Barons are on show across Salisbury until 6th September. On 24th September all 25 will be displayed together at salisbury Cathedral. They will then be auctioned off to raise funds for The Trussell Trust.
If you would like to take part in the Barons’ Trail you can pick up a Trail Map from the Tourist Information Centre in Fish Row, Casa Fina on the High Street, Fisherton Mill on Fisherton Street, or Framemakers on Butcher Row. Alternatively, you can download the map here.