Archive for Lindisfarne Gospels

The Lindisfarne Gospels

Posted in Art, History with tags , , , , on July 25, 2013 by telescoper

450px-Lindisfarne_Gospels_folio_209vOne of the interesting things going on in Durham during the week of this conference is an exhibition relating to the Lindisfarne Gospels. This extraordinary book was written around 715AD, just after the death of St Cuthbert. For those of you not familiar with Lindisfarne, or “Holy Island” as it is often called, it’s a small island off the Northumbrian coast, connected to the mainland by a causeway which is covered by the tide twice a day.

Although the Lindisfarne Gospels are about 1300 years old, the colours remain extremely vivid. It’s a remarkable thing to look at the pages on view in the exhibition to see the marks made by a human hand all that time ago; it’s difficult not to wonder about the life of the person who devoted what must have been a huge amount of time compiling this exquisite work.

Incidentally, St Cuthbert’s remains now lie in a tomb inside Durham’s magnificent cathedral, of which we have a fine view from the balcony of the Calman Learning  Centre during the coffee breaks: