In EventsInspire

The Lindisfarne Gospels will be on display at Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery from 17 September to 3 December 2022, on loan from the British Library.

This will be the first time the ancient book, the most spectacular manuscript to survive from Anglo-Saxon England, has been displayed in the city since 2000 and its first showing in the region since the major exhibition in Durham in 2013. 

view of the cover and page from the Lindisfarne Gospels

The Lindisfarne Gospels will feature in an exhibition about its meaning in the world today and exploring its relationship with themes of personal, regional, and national identity. 

A year-long series of cultural events inspired by the display of the Lindisfarne Gospels in the North East in autumn 2022, will take place in attractions across the region, beginning in January and peaking in autumn with two new visitor attractions for the region and the focal exhibition of the Gospels at the Laing Art Gallery, in a landmark loan from the British Library. 

view of pages within the Lindisfarne Gospels

From Hartlepool to Hexham, Berwick-upon-Tweed to Bishop Auckland, multiple venues and locations will invite visitors to explore, experience and enjoy a wealth of events, all drawing inspiration from different aspects of the 1300-year-old manuscript. 


Beginning in January and running through to May 2022, the programme opens with Monogatari: The art of storytelling in Japanese woodblock prints at the Oriental Museum in Durham. 

Organised in partnership with the National Museum of Japanese History, the exhibition is the first opportunity for visitors to enjoy the J P Scott Collection of Japanese woodblock prints donated to the Oriental Museum in 2019. Meaning ‘tale’, ‘story’ or ‘narrative’, monogatari is a literary genre that flourished between the 9th and 14th centuries that continues to this day.

Opening in March and split between Durham and Sunderland, a project led by National Glass Centre named Glass Exchange, will see four, established contemporary artists create new work in glass. The displays will remain in situ until the end of September 2022.

crown of light at Durham Cathedral, photo by Graeme Peacock

Celebrate World Heritage Site Day from 16-18 April 2022, with a weekend of events on the Durham World Heritage Site, which includes Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle and the buildings located between them. The celebration will see the return of 'Crown of Light' projection onto the façade of Durham Cathedral which features illuminated manuscripts from the Lindisfarne Gospels and other treasures from the North East. There'll also be music, drama performances, lectures, a family fun day and food market.


Between March and October 2022, Museums Northumberland will present 'A Northumberland Menagerie', a stunning series of new works by local artist Bethan Maddocks. Discover stories of Northumberland's animals, past and present, real and imagined, through Bethan's magical, large-scale paper-cut installations at Woodhorn Museum, Berwick Museum & Art Gallery, Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum and Hexham Old Gaol.   

artist Bethan Maddocks

Berwick’s Gymnasium Gallery hosts Suki Chan’s film installation Still Point throughout summer (18 June – 4 September 2022). Following themes of sacred spaces and places of pilgrimage, Still Point transports the audience from the site of the humble wooden structures offering refuge along the Pilgrims’ Way in Northumberland, to contested sacred sites in Jerusalem, and the interior spaces of abandoned Syrian villages in the Golan Heights.

Autumn will also see 40 life size illuminated sheep appear across villages, towns and landscape in Northumberland. The Inspired by events in Northumberland will take themes of Light, Sheep and Pilgrimage which are referenced in the manuscript of the Gospels. Digital and light artist Deepa Mann-Kler, will create the flock which will be adopted by communities and hosted spaces across the county. A series of trails will be created that can be completed on foot, bike or public transport to see the sheep in their diverse locations.

Festival of Flame  Hexham Abbey

Festival of Flame will take place in Northumberland. The patterns and shapes of the Gospels' 'carpet' illustrations will be recreated in fire using over 1,000 tea light candles and light-based installations at Hexham Abbey and other Northumberland locations. The installations will be complemented by a specially commissioned soundtrack and large-scale outdoor fire gardens. 

New Attractions

Two major new attractions will also be launched to coincide with the Inspired by Lindisfarne Gospels 2022 programme in the autumn. The brand-new Faith Museum in Bishop Auckland, England’s first museum designed to explore the story of faith in Britain and its meaning today will open.

The Faith Museum will use historic and contemporary objects, works of art and personal stories, to consider what faith is, how it has shaped Britain. Visitors will be able to discover stories of belief from 5,000 years of history, from the creeds of communities in the deep past, to today’s multi-religious society. Its opening display will focus on the Lindisfarne Gospels. 

The second new attraction is the Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery, in Wooler, Northumberland. Opening in autumn 2022, Ad Gefrin will be a fully immersive AV and museum experience bringing to life the Northumbrian Golden Age and the court of its Kings and Queens in their 7th century royal summer palace discovered at Yeavering only a few miles away – one of the finest Anglo Saxon archaeological sites in Europe. Ad Gefrin will celebrate a time more than 1000 years ago when Northumbria was the most powerful kingdom in all England and capture the origins of the rich culture that spawned the Lindisfarne Gospels almost a century later.


In Newcastle Cathedral, Exploring the Lindisfarne Gospels (17 September- 1 December 2022) presents a number of events that combine key elements of Christian faith; art, music and the written word. In Seeing the Word: Twitter Gospels 2.0, visitors will see an interactive data visualisation of the Lindisfarne Gospels, which digitally 'illuminates' the words using social media data of online activity and engagement with the texts. A treat for the senses, will be an evening of plainsong and traditional Northumbrian pipes, while the Cathedral is also coordinating a series of tours and workshops connected to its precious 14th Century scriptures, the Hexham Bible, Northern Saints, the Gospels and their heritage, including stained glass, calligraphy, textile design, music, and storytelling.


In November, Hartlepool hosts A Celebration of Local History at its new Local History Centre, located within Sir William Gray House. With objects drawn from its collection, visitors will see historic books and manuscripts, along with the Antiphoner (a bound collection of psalms and hymns sung in church services), on loan from Durham Cathedral. An exhibition of religious paintings can also be seen in the Long Gallery.

South Tyneside

During the autumn, Jarrow Hall Museum invites us to take a closer look at Mediterranean influences on Early Medieval manuscripts and art. Visitors will be able to see a full-sized facsimile of the Codex Amiatinus on display in the Bede Museum, learn about Bede the Historian and take part in fun family friendly activities and other special events.

The Lindisfarne Gospels

The entire Inspired by Lindisfarne Gospels programme is, of course, sparked by the exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery which will display the most spectacular manuscript to survive from Anglo-Saxon England, on loan from the British Library.

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums art curators have worked with the British Library and with artists to explore the history of the Gospels, and how it can bring people together today by inspiring ideas about identity and sense of place.   

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