Almost no-one knows it’s there: an acre of American land on the River Thames at Runnymede, just a stone’s throw from the place King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215.
Gifted by the Queen and Parliament after the death of John F Kennedy, tourists used to flock to this idyllic spot: but now it attracts just a trickle of walkers from the flat meadows below.
The monument of 100-million-year old Portland stone commemorates Kennedy using his inaugural address. It is at once quintessentially English and wholly American.
Modelled on John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, the acre begins with a winding path and 50 steps, to represent the 50 American states.
The stone itself sits on a granite slab – symbolising the shoulders of the people.
There are wide stone benches to sit on and gaze down at the Thames and the road through Runnymede from a distance. It is quiet, and far from the hustle below.
You can find details of the memorial, and the others on the banks at Runnymede, here.