Lecture by Victoria Thompson Whitworth Scot examining whether the Book of Kells could have been written at a monastery other than Iona.
The Book of Kells, a copy of the Latin Gospels, is the most complex manuscript to survive from the early middle ages. Preserved at Kells, County Meath, its place of origin is often assumed to be the great monastery on Iona. However, there is no evidence for this, and there have been persistent - and eminent - voices suggesting that it was a Pictish production. This argument has not been revisited in depth since the major excavations of the monastic site at Portmahomack, so a fresh examination is timely. This lecture reconsiders the arguments for an eastern Scottish point of origin, in a centre such as Portmahomack or indeed Rosemarkie.