The Lindisfarne Gospels is one of the world's greatest books.
It was probably made between 680 and 720, in the island monastery
of Lindisfarne. It is the work of a very gifted artist who
merged words and images to create a beautiful, enduring symbol
The monastery at Lindisfarne was founded by Irish monks in
635. It lies off the coast of the former Anglo-Saxon kingdom
of Northumbria (NE England). Although remote, it was certainly
not cut off culturally. The Lindisfarne Gospels reflect many
influences: native British, Celtic, Germanic, Roman, Early
Christian, Byzantine, North African and Middle Eastern.
This was a time of great change. Britain was a land of many
cultures, with an emerging national identity and vigorous
new forms of learning, literature and art. The Lindisfarne
Gospels was a stunning creation of this new 'insular' (or
The Lindisfarne Gospels is certainly a book of its time
- a fusion of the beliefs, politics and challenges of the
day. But it is also timeless. It offers us clues to the past
and inspiration for the future.