2011 St Cuthbert Gospel

A grant of £4,500,000 enabled the British Library to purchase this small, handwritten copy of the Gospel of St John. It is the oldest Western book preserved entirely intact and one of the earliest surviving manuscripts to be created in Britain. Shortly after it was made, it was buried with the body of Cuthbert, one of Britain’s foremost saints, at Lindisfarne, Northumberland, apparently in 698. It was carried in Cuthbert’s coffin as the monks of Lindisfarne fled from Viking raids and travelled across North East England in the 9th and 10th centuries.