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The Putney Debates: democratic pioneers

This pop-up exhibition traces the roots of our democratic ideals back to Putney in 1647 when a series of debates in St Mary's Church brought together radicalised soldiers and civilians known as the Levellers, with key parliamentarians like Oliver Cromwell.

It was a pivotal moment in our nation's democratic past, as men came to discuss the rights of the people, and the fate of the King.

The exhibition will be displayed in the heart of Putney, in The Putney Exchange Shopping Centre, and will explore ideas about universal suffrage, religious freedom and democratic ideals.

For twelve days, to mirror the duration of the original ground-breaking debates, the public will have the opportunity to participate in activities and respond to questions posed by the Levellers. Visitors, in this modern setting, will be encouraged to think about what it really means to live in a democracy today.

This Festival of Freedoms event aligns with The Putney Debates banner from ‘The Beginnings of that Freedome' exhibition in Westminster Hall.

Presented in partnership with The Putney Exchange Shopping Centre


This event is free of charge and there is no need to book. 

If you have any questions, please contact

Find out about the Festival of Freedoms programme


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