The 7th Century St Cuthbert’s Bible is the oldest European book.
The manuscript, a copy of the Gospel of St John, was produced in the north of England in the late seventh-century and was buried alongside St Cuthbert, an early English Christian leader, on the island of Lindisfarne off the coast of Northumberland around 698AD.
The coffin was moved off the island to escape Viking raiders and taken to Durham, where the book was found when the coffin was opened at the cathedral in 1104.
St Cuthbert’s Bible can be seen at the British Library, but not for much longer. It is on loan from the Jesuits and the Jesuits want it back, but they have given the British Library the option of buying it. Price tag £9 million!
The British Library has launched an appeal to raise the £9 million.