Lindisfarne, also known as the "Holy Island" is located off the coast of Northumberland in northern England. The monastery was founded there in around 635 AD by the Irish missionary Aidan, who had been sent there from Iona by King Oswald of Northumbria to convert the pagan Anglo-Saxons. The Northumbrian monarchy had converted to Christianity in 627. By Aidan’s death in 651, the Christian faith was becoming well-established in the area.
The Lindisfarne Gospels is an illuminated manuscript produced around the year 700 AD in the monastery at Lindisfarne. The manuscript is one of the finest works in the unique style of Hiberno-Saxon art, combining Mediterranean, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic elements. The Lindisfarne Gospels is the best documented and most complete insular style manuscript of the period and have been a subject of study for generations of scholars and art lovers. The Lindisfarne Gospels are presumed to be the work of a monk named Eadfrith, who became Bishop of Lindisfarne in 698 and died in 721. Originally, The Gospels would have been encased in a fine leather binding covered with jewels and metals made by Billfrith the Anchorite in the 8th century. During the Viking raids on Lindisfarne, however, this cover was lost, and a replacement was made in 1852.
The Lindisfarne Gospels currently reside in the British Library in London.