Europe's oldest book: Ancient Lindisfarne gospel which survived pillaging Vikings and lay in a saint's coffin for centuries
Europe's oldest book: the 7th century St Cuthbert's Gospel (a copy of the Gospel of St John), was buried with St. Cuthbert on the island of Lindisfarne (off the coast of Northumberland) in ca. AD 698. His coffin was removed to Durham to preserve it from Viking raiders and the book was discovered when the coffin was opened at Durham Cathedral in AD 1104. This is the original red leather binding.
The St Cuthbert Gospel (British Library, London) was produced in the North East of England in the late 7th century and was placed in St Cuthbert’s coffin on Lindisfarne, apparently in 698. The Gospel was found in the saint’s coffin at Durham Cathedral in 1104. It has a beautifully worked original red leather binding in excellent condition, and it is the only surviving high-status manuscript from this crucial period in British history to retain its original appearance, both inside and out.