The Cathedral Treasures are what attract many of our visitors to the Cathedral. We're honoured to be able to display items such as the St Chad Gospels (which have recently been on display in the British Museum), and the Lichfield Angel.
St Chad Gospels
The St Chad Gospels (formally known as the Lichfield Gospels, and sometimes still known as the St Teilo Gospels), is an eighth century Gospel Book housed in the Cathedral's Chapter House.
There are 236 surviving folios, eight of which are illuminated. Another four contain framed text. The manuscript is also important because it includes, as marginalia, some of the earliest known examples of written Welsh.
The manuscript was rebound in 1962 by Roger Powell. At that time it was discovered that in the rebinding of 1862 the manuscript had been cut into single leaves and that the pages had been trimmed during the rebinding of 1707.
Discovered in 2003 the Lichfield Angel is a remarkable survival of early medieval sculpture. The carved limestone panel, which is dated to around 800 A.D., comprises three separate fragments which are thought to have formed the corner of a shrine chest, possibly that of St Chad (d.672).
In the summer of 2003, archaeological work in the nave of the Cathedral was undertaken prior to the installation of a retractable platform. Little or nothing was known about the archaeology of the nave although it was generally thought that the Anglo-Saxon Cathedral must have been located west of the Church of St Mary, evidence for which exists under the choir. Dr Warwick Rodwell, the Cathedral Archaeologist, undertook the excavation and the results were extraordinary.
The Herkenrode Glass
The famous Herkenrode Glass is considered to be one of Europe’s greatest artistic treasures, and was installed in Lichfield in 1803 when it was rescued from destruction during the Napoleonic Wars. Having withstood centuries of weather and pollution, emergency action was needed to rescue it once again and the race began to save the Lady Chapel and its priceless Renaissance glass. The glass was removed in 2010 and taken to Barley Studio where the five-year renovation project commenced.