British Library successful in purchase of St Cuthbert's Gospel

In 2010, the British Library began its quest to own the St Cuthbert Gospel, a manuscript discovered in 1104 when the saint's coffin was opened after a Viking raid. The book was finally acquired from the Society of Jesus (British Province), or Jesuits, for UK£9m.

The Gospel of St John, called the St Cuthbert Gospel, was written in the late 7th century and placed in the saint's coffin on Lindisfarne. The book has been on extended loan to the library since 1979. "It is undoubtedly one of the world's most important books," said Scot McKendrick, head of history and classics at the British Library.