Prior Wibert’s Waterworks Plan

A guest blog by Professor Paul Bennett, Director of Canterbury Archaeological Trust from 1984 to 2020. In the mid-1160s, when Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury, a map was drawn of the Cathedral and its surrounding Benedictine Priory buildings to show a newly built aqueduct and its structures within and outside the city walls. This …

Continue reading Prior Wibert’s Waterworks Plan

Cake, Caraway and Commemoration

A commonplace book typically includes notes and passages from literature compiled as work of reference. Manuscript R.2.45 is an example of this kind of memoranda and was probably put together by the printer William Bowyer (1699–1777) sometime in the 1750s. This is a very personal miscellany including many ‘stories’, description of the parts of a …

Continue reading Cake, Caraway and Commemoration

Conservation of a Pocket Bible

Conservator Edward Cheese has recently completed the repair of a medieval pocket Bible (B.10.21) in a project which, owing to its complexity and the Covid lockdown, took over three years to complete. In this blog he describes the meticulous conservation process. Prior to conservation the manuscript was in an extremely fragile state: the opening leaves …

Continue reading Conservation of a Pocket Bible

New Look to Online Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Regular users of the Wren Digital Library will have noticed that we have launched a new interface for the James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts. Users will welcome the return of a free text search option and searching has also been further enhanced by the addition of filters allowing users to restrict results to specific centuries, …

Continue reading New Look to Online Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

‘Gather your song’: virgin saints in the Barking Hymnal

The page above is from a 15th-century hymnal in the Wren Library, showing the hymn Tibi Christe, splendor patris. It has enjoyed a respectable place in English church music tradition, appearing in the 1906 English Hymnal as Thee, O Christ, the Father’s splendour. (It did not quite make the cut when the New English Hymnal …

Continue reading ‘Gather your song’: virgin saints in the Barking Hymnal

Trinity Lends to Thomas Becket Exhibition

Trinity College has loaned three manuscripts to the exhibition ‘Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint’ which opens at the British Museum on 20 May 2021.  Thomas Becket was murdered on 29 December 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral. From relatively humble beginnings he had risen to serve as Royal Chancellor and then as Archbishop …

Continue reading Trinity Lends to Thomas Becket Exhibition