Durham Cathedral has announced that the Treasures of St Cuthbert are now on permanent display in the medieval Great Kitchen, within Open Treasure, the Cathedral’s multimillion-pound exhibition.
The Treasures of St Cuthbert represent some of the most significant surviving Anglo-Saxon artefacts in the world, offering an insight into the life of St Cuthbert; one of north-east England’s best-loved saints and in whose honour Durham Cathedral was built.
Forming the centrepiece of the Treasures exhibition is St Cuthbert’s original Anglo-Saxon wooden coffin, made in 698 and recovered when his tomb was opened in 1827.
Images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, apostles and archangels are still visible on these well-preserved oak fragments, making this one of the most important wooden artefacts to have survived since before the Norman Conquest.
The Dean of Durham (pictured far left) said: “The launch of the Treasures of St Cuthbert on permanent display in their new home marks a new phase in the life of Durham Cathedral and its exhibition experience Open Treasure.
“It is very fitting that the final jewel in the crown of Open Treasure is centred on St Cuthbert. We look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far to enjoy and discover more about his remarkable life and the gospel message his Treasures represent.”
To celebrate the launch of this landmark exhibition, cultural historian, broadcaster and Anglo-Saxon specialist Janina Ramirez visited the Cathedral to give a public talk about the Treasures of St Cuthbert and explain how these precious artefacts contribute towards our understanding of Anglo-Saxon art, culture and religion.