St. Cuthbert Gospel

The St. Cuthbert Gospel cover and the first page of text
The St. Cuthbert Gospel cover and the first page of text

Historical Context

Of double historical importance, the St Cuthbert Gospel is significant as both the oldest surviving intact European book and for its association with the saint St Cuthbert in whose tomb at Lindisfarne the book was placed a few years after his death in 687.

Originally the small pocket book was thought to be St Cuthbert's personal copy but it is now though to have been produced slightly later by a scribe from Monkwearmouth–Jarrow Abbey in the north of England. The text is a copy of the Gospel of St John in Latin written on vellum sheets and remarkedly survives with its original red leather binding. It was bought by the British Library after a fundraising campaign.

Publication Info


Location published: London, England, United Kingdom

Related Events

  • 2012-04-17 The 8th century St. Cuthbert Gospel, Europe's oldest intact book, is purchased by the British Library for 9 million pounds


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