Book of Deer Project celebrates £10k grant

The Book of Deer
The Book of Deer

The Book of Deer Project has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £10,000.

This exciting project will involve a two-week excavation from June 24 to Sunday, July 8, with an associated schools programme featuring local primary and secondary schools, medieval pottery workshops and storytelling.

Book of Deer chairperson Anne Simpson said: “This is a tremendous boost and will allow us to continue the exciting search for the monastery of Deer which seems so tantalisingly close after last year’s dig.”

Book of Deer Project Secretary Joyce Brown said: “A big thank you to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their support. The hunt for the long-lost monastery continues. What a fantastic discovery it will be if we can confirm its location.”

Heather Jennings, Treasurer of The Book of Deer Project said: “The Heritage Lottery money will allow us to continue with our search for the Monastery. It feels so close now, hopefully this will be our year.”

Project archaeologist Ali Cameron added: ‘This is my fifth year working on the project and this is the closest we have come to buildings which may date to the early medieval period. It is a wonderful project with great volunteers and we would all be so excited if this turns out to be the monastery we have been looking for.”

The Book of Deer is a tenth century illuminated manuscript. 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 funding will allow members to complete this phase of the project and definitively find out whether the site really is the lost monastery where the earliest known Gaelic was written.