Jay-Z made a surprise visit to Salisbury cathedral to see the original Magna Carta documents

The 'Suit & Tie' hitmaker turned up unannounced to see the world famous 13th century charter of English rights, ahead of his Wireless Festival gig with Justin Timberlake on Sunday (18.07.13).

The 42-year-old rapper arrived at the cathedral's morning service to look at the some of the original 1215 Magna Carta documents and spent an hour with the Dean of Salisbury touring the church.

A source told The Sun newspaper: ''Jay-Z kept the visit quiet because he didn't want it to become a big publicity stunt. He travelled down from London in a small group in his classic Aston Martin.''

Jay-Z latest album artwork for 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' has been temporarily displayed in the cathedral next to the originals.

The source continued: ''Jay was genuinely touched to see his album near to the real-life Magna Carta in the chapter house. He took the occasion seriously and felt honoured to be there.

''He chatted to the Dean and posed for a few pictures with fans when they asked.''

Jay-Z's visit comes just before it was announced he had scored his first UK number one with the album.

The Dean, The Very Reverend June Osborne said: ''He was clearly moved by seeing the original Magna Carta.

''He was a delightful guest and we discussed the work we seek to do here to further the cause of social justice. I think it may have surprised some of our visitors.''