Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

Lindisfarne Gospels

Lindisfarne Gospels
Front cover of the Lindisfarne Gospels ©The British Library Board. By Permission of The British Library

The Lindisfarne Gospels is an illuminated Latin manuscript of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, produced in Lindisfarne in Northumbria in the late seventh century or early eighth century.

Opulent and rich, the Gospels contain elaborate, fully decorated pages of great intricacy, complex patterns including fanciful birds and animals, and beautiful calligraphy.

The book was produced at a time when England was in a state of cultural flux, acquiring new forms of learning, literature and art. Thirteen centuries after it was made, it is still in excellent condition, and is now considered one of the world’s greatest books and symbols of faith.