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The Book of Deer

The Book of Deer is a small book which contains the Gospels.

It is 154mm x 107mm.

It is now kept in Cambridge University Library.

It is not clear why or how it came to be moved from the North East of Scotland to the South of England.

The Book of Deer shows a little of what the early church,
culture and society of the time were like.

The oldest pieces of Gaelic writing to have survived from early Medieval Scotland are in the Book of Deer.

Illustration from Book of Deer

The book was in the possession of the Monastery of Deer, at Old Deer in Aberdeenshire.

The Monastery was linked to St Columba.

In the twelfth century, the monks of Deer used the blank spaces and the margins in the book to record details of grants of land in Scottish Gaelic.

The notes are written around the Latin text
and the Celtic illuminations.

The book has been described as one of the most important
ancient objects from the Celtic Scotland period.