Lindisfarne Gospels homecoming sparks NE celebrations
The 8th century Lindisfarne Gospels, the oldest surviving translation of the Gospels into English, are to be the centrepiece of a region-wide programme of events marking the manuscript’s return to the North East.
The 1300-year-old Gospels are to go on rare loan from the British Library to Newcastle’s Laing Gallery with venues and locations across the region, from Durham Cathedral to Sunderland National Glass Centre, and including the new Faith Museum in Bishop Auckland, mounting displays, exhibitions and performances inspired them.
The events through the year’s events, starting in January, will lead up to the opening of the public display of the Gospels at the Laing from September 17 to December 3.
The illuminated manuscript is thought to have been created on the monastery on the island of Lindsfarne off the Northumberland coast in about 715 to 720 by Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne, in honour of St Cuthbert, a predecessor bishop. In fact, there is evidence that the manuscript was unfinished, suggesting that Eadfrith was still working on it at the time of his death in 721.
“It is wonderful that not only do we have the display of the Lindisfarne Gospels at the Laing Art Gallery to look forward to but we also have this amazing range of events, exhibitions and new attractions for people to enjoy right across our region as part of the Inspired by programme” said Keith Merrin, director of Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums. “There will be a spotlight on the North East in 2022 with must-see events like the Lindisfarne Gospels programme and also Hadrian’s Wall 1900 - celebrating, 1900 years since the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site was built. It is fantastic to see so much energy and activity in the arts and heritage offer in our region.”