8th Century Hereford Gospels go on Display

02nd February 2023

The 8th-century Hereford Gospels, which feature wonderful examples of heavy Celtic influence and insular script have been displayed in a new exhibition just opened in the Cathedral’s Mappa Mundi & Chained Library.

Hereford Gospels go on display.

Bound to Impress is an exhibition celebrating the bookbindings within Hereford Cathedral’s historic collections and spans books made locally in the 12th century to expensive and elaborate 19th-century luxury bindings.

The 8th century Hereford Gospels are the oldest item in the Cathedral’s collection, the only pre-1055 item known. Other highlights of the exhibition include a small volume of the Bible in red and gold with gilt edges which was printed in 1653 by John Field, and the 17th century accounts of Hereford bookbinder John Cooper who is believed to have worked on the Hereford Gospels and a number of other medieval manuscripts.

Jennifer Dumbleton, Cathedral Librarian, said:

“Whether simple or detailed, bookbindings give us valuable information and can tell us about where they were made, who owned them and how they were used. The highly skilled craftsmanship used in their construction and decoration reflects their times’ tastes and technical innovations. We are really looking forward to sharing this exhibition which will give visitors the chance to delve deeper into the books which form our collections.”

Bound To Impress is on display within Mappa Mundi and Chained Library Exhibition until 22 April 2023. The exhibition is open from Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm and admission charges apply.

Visit the Hereford Cathedral website here before planning your visit.