Llandeilo Fawr Gospels

The Llandeilo Gospel book is one of the lost artistic, cultural and spiritual treasures of Wales. From the early ninth century it belonged to the religious community founded by St Teilo in what is now Llandeilo Fawr. The book contains the earliest surviving examples of written Welsh.

It was presented to St Teilo’s church by a Welshman called Gelhi, who had bought it for the price of a good horse. Before the end of the eleventh century it was removed from Llandeilo and given to the king of Mercia. It has been kept ever since in Lichfield Cathedral.

The Gospel book can be seen once again in Llandeilo in digitally imaged form, using the British Library’s award-winning ‘Turning the Pages’ technology. The display is accompanied by a full interpretive exhibition.

Visitors can also turn the pages of a digital version of the closely related Lindisfarne Gospels.

An exhibition space, designed by the Regan Norris Partnership, has been created under the Medieval tower of Llandeilo Parish Church, to which visitors are welcome at the times stated below.

Opening times. Easter – September.

Tuesday 11.00am – 4.00pm
Wednesday 11.30am – 1.30pm
Thursday 11.00am – 1.30pm
Friday 11.00am – 4.00pm
Saturday 11.00am – 4.00pm

Group visits welcomed throughout the year by prior arrangement (01558 822371). Education materials (KS 2) available for schools. Disabled access and facilities.

Visitors are welcome – ADMISSION FREE

Oriau Agor. Y Pasg – Medi.

Dydd Mawrth 11.00am – 4.00pm
Dydd Mercher 11.30am – 1.30pm
Dydd Iau 11.00am – 1.30pm
Dydd Gwener 11.00am – 4.00pm
Ddydd Sadwrn 11.00am – 4.00pm

Croesewir ymweliadau gan grwpiau ar hyd y flwyddyn trwy drefnu ymlaen llaw (01558 822371). Deunyddiau addysg (CA 2) ar gael i ysgolion. Mynediad a chyfleusterau I bobl anabl.

Mae croeso i ymwelwyr – MYNEDIAD AM DDIM

The Llandeilo Fawr Gospels

(St Chad Gospels, Lichfield Cathedral Library Ms 1) The Llandeilo Gospel book, a beautifully illuminated Biblical manuscript, is a masterpiece of 8th century book production, and a great spiritual, artistic and cultural treasure. For perhaps 200 years, from the early ninth century, the Gospel book was in the possession of the religious community founded by St Teilo in Llandeilo Fawr. It contains in its margins and blank spaces memoranda of the community’s possessions and transactions, and these include the earliest surviving examples of written Welsh.

The origins of the book are shrouded in mystery, but it is closely related to the Lindisfarne Gospels, and the product of a monastic scriptorium. Before the end of the eleventh century, it was removed from Llandeilo in obscure circumstances. Except for a period during the civil war, it has been kept in Lichfield Cathedral, where it is known as the St Chad Gospels.

The Gospels Project

The project was launched at a meeting in Llandeilo on Monday 9th February 2004 (St Teilo’s Day), chaired by the Vicar of Llandeilo, Rev Dr Peter Bement. Interested parties, including representatives of the church, local authorities and tourism bodies, enthusiastically backed the plan.

The project is a co-operative venture between Llandeilo Parish Church, Lichfield Cathedral and the British Library.

  • A digital ‘gallery’ version of the book has been made by the British Library, using an more advanced version of the Library’s award-winning ‘Turning the Pages’ technology. The sound track can be accessed in Welsh or English.
  • The financial costs of the venture were shared between Lichfield Cathedral and Llandeilo Parish Church. The Cathedral has also contributed free use of its copyright in the book.
  • The British Library has provided a travelling exhibition to tour Wales and the Midlands.

The Exhibition has been made possible by a grant of £74,528 of European Objective One funding from the 1FUND administered by Carmarthenshire County Council for the Welsh Assembly Government. The successful grant application was made with the assistance of Menter Bro Dinefwr.

Turning the Pages

Turning the Pages is an award-winning interactive display system developed by the British Library to increase public access and enjoyment of its treasures. Visitors can virtually ‘turn’ the pages of rare books or manuscripts in a highly realistic way, using touch-screen technology and animation. They can zoom in on the high-quality digitised images or read and listen to notes explaining the significance of each page. Turning the Pages allows many more pages to be viewed than when a single opening of the original book is displayed in a glass case, with the added advantage that the original is preserved from damage.

British LibraryBeginning in 1998 with the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Diamond Sutra, the Sforza Hours and the Leonardo Notebook, the Library has applied the process to nine of its greatest treasures. The Llandeilo Gospel book is the first book not owned by the BL to be treated in this way. It is displayed using a new generation of the TTP software which is even more realistic than before.

To view a simplified TTP version of the Llandeilo Gospels, click the following link www.lichfield-cathedral.org

To view other versions of TTP digital books produced by the British Library, please click the following link. www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/ttp/ttpbooks.html

Images from the Llandeilo Gospels are shown by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield Cathedral

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