The Lindisfarne Gospels at the Laing Art Gallery

Part of our Exhibitions guide

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
The Lindisfarne Gospels, c.700 British Library

The Lindisfarne Gospels at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, 17 September–3 December 2022, from £0.00 - Book now

If you’re a history enthusiast already then you might not need much convincing, but if old books aren’t really your thing, you might change your mind as this autumn. The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle are giving audiences the opportunity to see The Lindisfarne Gospels described as “as the most spectacular manuscript to survive from Anglo-Saxon England.” Created in the 8th century, the Lindisfarne Gospels are a truly breathtaking example of a medieval illuminated manuscript.

Along with the original manuscript on loan from the British Library, the exhibition will also feature new work by Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller who is an artistic advisor for the show, and whose new film commission tracks the journey of the Gospels, from London to Newcastle.

Lindisfarne Gospels cover and spine
Lindisfarne Gospels


The show takes place across three galleries. If you’re wondering why a single book can provide enough material for an exhibition of such size, you’re in for a treat. The show explores what the The Lindisfarne Gospels mean in the contemporary world, and examines its relationship with the themes of belonging: national, regional and personal identity.

Beginning with an immersive audio-visual experience, visitors get the chance to learn more about the remote island of Lindisfarne on the East coast. In its heyday, it was perfectly situated on sea trade routes and the island was wealthy in art, objects and ideas.

Rogart Brooch 'X.FC 2’, 8th century
Rogart Brooch ‘X.FC 2’, 8th century. Image © National Museums Scotland


The second gallery displays the Gospels themselves, and explores the spirituality and beliefs prevalent in the area at a time of transition from Paganism to Christianity. Surviving objects from the period are very rare, and this room features gold jewellery and fragments of carved stone crosses. Alongside the star of the show, you’ll also find St Cuthbert’s Gospel, the oldest intact European book.

The show continues with a broader exploration of spirituality and its development in the centuries since the creation of the Lindisfarne Gospels, via paintings, drawings and photographs. From the Old Masters’ religious compositions to the Romantics who looked for God in nature, the show asks larger questions about spirituality, its connection with our identity, and its ever-changing nature.

The Lindisfarne Gospels at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

17 September–3 December 2022
From £0.00