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Village’s Magna Carta link

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By Fiona Reid

A SMALL community in the region has become the only Scottish recipient of a historic grant.

Tongland and Ringford Community Council have secured £3000 from the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee.
The 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta is being celebrated this year throughout England and across the world.
And Tongland has a direct connection – and the only Scottish connection – to this most important royal document.
Alan of Galloway is named on the Magna Carta which was sealed at Runnymede on 15 June 1215. He was the hereditary Lord of Galloway and Constable of Scotland, and a trusted advisor to King John. Locally he is recorded as being the founder of Tongland Abbey in 1218 and his daughter Dervorgilla established Sweetheart Abbey in memory of her husband John Balliol.
The grant will be used to fund several different events, including a geophysical survey to establish more precisely the layout of the abbey. Also planned is the installation of a permanent information board at the site of the abbey, the ruins of which were incorporated into the now derelict parish church at Tongland. The remaining funding will be used to pay for educational sessions for local primary school children and the offer of a bursary for post-graduate research.
Meanwhile, on June 20 there will be a free lecture on Alan, Lord of Galloway, by Professor Richard Oram of Stirling University. He is an authority on Galloway’s medieval history and author of ‘The Lords of Galloway’.


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