An exhibition offering the opportunity to see the Lindisfarne Gospels in Durham attracted nearly 100,000 visitors during its three-month stay.
The Durham University exhibition gave people a rare opportunity to see the 1,300-year-old gospels outside of its usual home at the British Library in London.
The exhibition, which opened on July 1 and closed on Monday, attracted over 97,000 visitors from as far afield as Canada, New Zealand and Asia. Outreach sessions have been delivered to 20,000 children.
Many visitors ventured further north to see their birthplace of Holy Island. The manuscript was created by Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne in honour of St Cuthbert in around 700AD.
Also on display in Durham was the jewelled cross, travelling altar and a sapphire ring found in St Cuthbert’s coffin, with loans from other collections including The Viking Raiders’ Stone and items from the Staffordshire Hoard.
Programme director Dr Keith Bartlett said: “It’s been absolutely amazing. The whole of Durham has been lifted, the whole of the region has been inspired.
“We’ve had 100,000 people through the doors and looking at the visitors book, the number of superlatives that people have put in there, I couldn’t have put it better myself.
“From the start we wanted to make sure it was more than just a book in a box in Durham. What the people have seen is an exhibition that tells the story of the gospels, its journey both creatively and physically from Lindisfarne right the way through Durham and beyond.”
Durham University can bid for the gospels to return to the region again in 2020.