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The Book of Deer

book of deerThe Book of Deer is one of Scotland’s most important manuscripts. The Book itself is a small Gospel Book, housed in Cambridge University Library. The book was probably written by the monks of the Pictish monastery in Deer, North East Aberdeenshire around 8th to 12th century. The monastery has otherwise left no trace of its existence, although a Cistercian Abbey was founded nearby in 1219.

The book contains the illustrated gospels. Very importantly, amid the Latin text and the Celtic illuminations there can be found the oldest pieces of Gaelic writing to have survived from early Medieval Scotland.

The Book of Deer is of supreme value in the way it provides a unique insight into the early church, culture and society of the North East of Scotland from this period. Not only is it of local importance, but it is equally of national and international significance.

The Book of Deer Project was founded from the Central Buchan Tourism Group in 1996 by local volunteers. The Book of Deer visitor centre, and hub of activity, is situated in the heart of Aden Country Park, along from the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum. The Centre was opened with due ceremony in the summer of 2002 and is manned entirely by volunteers and friends of the Book of Deer.

Opening times of the project room vary so if you want to visit or find out further information please contact Andrew Kellock on 01346 53230907788980105 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Please visit the Book of Deer website to see examples of the art and illumination contained within the Book. Alternatively visit us on Facebook: