CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

Rare medieval bible returns home to Canterbury Cathedral

PUBLISHED: 16:26 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:26 30 August 2018

Canon Librarian Revd Tim Naish, Head of Archives and Library Cressida Williams and Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd Robert Willis (photo: Canterbury Cathedral)

Canon Librarian Revd Tim Naish, Head of Archives and Library Cressida Williams and Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd Robert Willis (photo: Canterbury Cathedral)

CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL

A rare medieval bible has been returned to Canterbury Cathedral 500 years after it disappeared from the Cathedral’s monastic book collection at the time of the Reformation

Now known as the Lyghfield Bible, after the 16th-century cathedral monk who once owned it, the 690-leaf volume was bought at auction from a private seller at a specialist sale of manuscripts in London in July.

The £100,000 purchase was made possible thanks to a grant of almost £96,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and further funding from the Friends of the National Libraries, the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral and a private donation.

The Lyghfield Bible was written in the late 13th century on high-quality parchment or vellum, which is almost tissue-like in quality. The fine Latin script and the extensive, very fine illumination was probably produced in Paris, one of the medieval centres for this type of work.

The bible is pocket sized and designed for personal use, possibly while travelling. The volume formed part of the collection of the medieval monastery of the Cathedral in the 16th century, but may well have been in Canterbury well before that time.

As the Cathedral’s monastic community was disbanded during the Reformation, the library and book collection of Canterbury Cathedral were dispersed, with many volumes destroyed or taken apart for the reuse of their materials.

Exactly what happened to the Lyghfield Bible requires further investigation, but now it is back to join the very small percentage of the book collection that survived, amounting to some 30 volumes from the thousands that were once held.

The Lyghfield Bible is the only complete Bible from the medieval book collection which is now at the Cathedral and is part of a collection which is inscribed on the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register.

It is the finest example of a complete illuminated book from that collection and it is planned that it will be displayed in the new exhibition area being developed at the Cathedral as part of The Canterbury Journey project.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kent Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kent Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kent Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Kent Life

On the banks of the Medway and boasting great shopping, dining and cultural attractions, our county town is great to visit at any time of year

Read more
December 2018
Yesterday, 13:03

Andy has a confession: he loves the side dishes almost more than he loves the roast turkey. Here are three of his all-time favourites

Read more
December 2018
Yesterday, 13:01

Andy McLeish of Chapter One shares his all-time favourite Christmas dinner sides

Read more
December 2018
Yesterday, 13:00

Andy McLeish of Chapter One shares his all-time favourite Christmas dinner sides

Read more
December 2018
Yesterday, 12:59

Andy McLeish of Chapter One shares his all-time favourite Christmas dinner sides

Read more
December 2018

Kent Life looks at the contribution ellenor makes to patient care at Christmas, in the hospice and through its community palliative care teams

Read more
December 2018

In the final month of the 50th Anniversary of the Kent Downs AONB and 40th of the North Downs Way, we’ve chosen 25 places to visit and enjoy in the Kent Downs this winter

Read more

Celebrating the centenary of women being allowed to vote in a UK General Election, we look at leading Kent ladies, then and now

Read more

Enjoy a rural break at this converted farm, today an award-winning restaurant with characterful rooms

Read more
December 2018

Nothing beats a unique, hand-picked present from one of Kent’s superb galleries, spciality shops and gift stores. Here are just a few to whet your festive apppetite

Read more
December 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards 2016. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search