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BBC Wales's Rhidian Thomas
"In the 8th century text is a note that a Welshman sold his best horse for the text, and then gifted them to St Teilo."
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Thursday, 13 April, 2000, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Unholy row over Gospels
The St Teilo Gospels
The St Teilo Gospels, written about 1,300 years ago
A dispute has broken out between a Welsh church and an English cathedral over who owns an ancient manuscript, written 1,300 years ago.

The St Teilo Gospels are said to have originated in Wales, but Lichfield Cathedral, which now holds the documents, is adamant they will not be returned.

The 8th Century gospels are claimed as some of the most important documents in Welsh history.

The text is in Latin, but along the margins are notes written in Welsh - one of the earliest examples ever recorded.

But for over 1,000 years they have been in England at Lichfield Cathedral.


The Rev Peter Bement
Rev Peter Bement - gospels are Welsh

Now, the vicar of St Teilo's Church in Llandeilo, says they should be recognized as Welsh.

"This is a great cultural treasure of the Welsh nation," said the Rev Peter Bement.

"It would be nice if we could get some acknowledgement from Lichfield that this is a Welsh book."

But at Lichfield Cathedral it is believed the prized gospels were written there.

And as it is virtually impossible to prove their origins either way, one of Wales's historical treasures looks set to stay in England.

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04 Apr 00 | Wales
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