Hereford Gospels

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Hereford Gospels, circa 780, illustrating the Gospel of John

The Hereford Gospels (Hereford, Hereford Cathedral Library, MS P. I. 2) is an 8th-century illuminated manuscript Gospel Book in insular script minuscule script, with large illuminated initials in the Insular style.

The manuscript was likely produced either in Wales (like the Ricemarch Psalter and possibly the Lichfield Gospels) or in the West Country of England near the Welsh border.[1]

Like other Insular manuscripts, the decoration has features relating to pre-Christian Celtic art, featuring spirals, tri-partite divisions of circles, common in the La Tene style, as well as Germanic and Mediterranean elements.

It is now housed in Hereford Cathedral in the largest surviving "chained library". (A library in which the books are chained down, so as to prevent theft.)


  1. ^ Richard Gameson, "The Hereford Gospels," from Hereford Cathedral: A History (London, 2000), pgs. 536-543. Gameson himself argues for the Welsh origin of the manuscript, but acknowledges that west England is a possible but less likely location of origin.

External links[edit]