ONE of the oldest surviving books in Europe is to return to the North East.
The St Cuthbert Gospel will go on show at Palace Green Library in Durham, after a £9million fund-raising campaign by the British Library to bring it in to public ownership.
The manuscript, a copy of the Gospel of St John, was produced in the North East in the late seventh century and placed in St Cuthbert’s coffin on Lindisfarne in about 698.
It was found in the coffin in Durham Cathedral in 1104.
Its visit to Durham, in July next year, will coincide with the display of the Lindisfarne Gospels, which is being lent by the British Library.
The book, considered one of the world’s most important, will also go on show at the London library as part of the programme, which follows an agreement it signed with Durham University and Durham Cathedral last year.
The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham, said: “For the people of Durham and North East England, this is a most treasured book.
“As part of the plan agreed between the World Heritage Site and the British Library for its display, we look forward from time to time to welcoming this precious book back to the peninsula where Cuthbert’s remains are honoured.
“It will be always be loved and cherished here.
“I am sure Cuthbert shares our delight.”