Scotlands History

Book of Deer

A small illuminated gospel book now housed in Cambridge University Library, the Book of Deer is one of Scotland’s most important documents. It originally belonged to an early Columban monastery at Old Deer in Aberdeenshire, and is the only trace remaining of that monastery’s existence.

The Book of Deer contains Latin texts of the Gospels and more importantly (from a Scottish standpoint) Gaelic texts. The Gaelic texts were written by several different scribes and tell us much about the workings of Gaelic society and the aspirations of the clergy of Deer.

  • Photo of ruined stone archway

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