Countdown begins for Lindisfarne Gospels to go on display in the North East

One of the world’s greatest treasures will go on display in Newcastle exactly a year from today.

By Ian Smith
Friday, 17th September 2021, 7:00 am
Incipit to Gospel of John, Lindisfarne Gospels.
Incipit to Gospel of John, Lindisfarne Gospels.

The Lindisfarne Gospels will be on public display at Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery from September 17 to 3 December 3, 2022.

This will be the first time the ancient book, the most spectacular manuscript to survive from Anglo-Saxon England, has been displayed in the city since 2000, and its first showing in the region since a major exhibition in Durham in 2013.

The Lindisfarne Gospels will feature in an exhibition about its meaning in the world today and exploring its relationship with themes of personal, regional, and national identity. There will also be a variety of public, community and school events across the North East to celebrate the landmark loan from the British Library, as well as a high-profile artist commission to reimagine the Gospels for a 21st-century audience.

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Lindisfarne Priory.

It’s also been revealed for the first time today exactly which page the manuscript will be open at during its stay in Newcastle – Gospel of John, ff. 210v-211.

The cross-carpet page and major initial introducing St John's Gospel are the last major decoration in the manuscript – they demonstrate all the different elements of its creator’s decorative vocabulary within a single final tour de force.

The announcement comes 1,300 years after the death in 721 of the monk named Eadfrith, who became the Bishop of Lindisfarne in 698 and is believed to have created the Gospels in the scriptorium of the monastery on the island.

Julie Milne, chief curator of Art Galleries, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said: “We are delighted to be working towards the presentation of the Lindisfarne Gospels in Newcastle in 2022 and have now reached the landmark of only one year to go! We will be announcing further significant news in the coming months about both the exhibition and the associated programme.”

Xerxes Mazda, head of collections and curation at the British Library, said: “The Lindisfarne Gospels is one of the greatest treasures in the Library’s care and we are looking forward to displaying the manuscript in the North East once again next year.”

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1,300-year-old Anglo-Saxon manuscript - The Lindisfarne Gospels - to return to t...

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