The exhibition told the story of Cuthbert, the Lindisfarne Gospels written in honour of God
and of St. Cuthbert by Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne, who died in 721. and St Cuthbert’s personal gospel of John which is the oldest surviving bound book in Europe.
Some of St Cuthbert’s personal treasures were also on display- his jewelled cross, Sapphire ring and travelling altar.
Some facts about the Lindisfarne Gospels are:
- · 12 calfskins used to make the vellum.
- · Apostles Matthew and Luke have beards, but Mark
and John don’t rep-resent Christ’s human and divine
- · Gospels weigh 8.7kg
- · Brushes used made from squirrel hair.
- · Written by one monk over 5-6 years.
- · The evangelists all have green eyes.
The illuminated manuscript was written in Latin with an Old English translation inserted between the lines, it is the
oldest surviving translation of the Gospels into English. The book also shows the great beauty of Anglo Saxon art at the end of the 7th century and start of the 8th. Artwork appears throughout the manuscript – most could be viewed through using technology to virtually turn pages and so explore the beauty and detail of each page.
Reflecting on my own visit with nine others from St Cuthbert’s I found it so interesting and inspiring. Educationally appealing to all ages. I last saw the Gospels when they were displayed at the Cathedral in 1987 and never imagined that I would see them again and in such a wonderful setting.