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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, within the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum.

The Book of Deer Project Room is open to the public 6 days a week (Closed on Wednesdays). If you would like further information or to meet up with one of the volunteer members please contact Joyce Brown on: 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: