August 7 – St Alban’s Psalter

Artist in Residence

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

Before we went away to Yorkshire we organised with Helena to be able to see the cathedral’s facsimile of the St Alban’s Psalter. So this morning we met Helena and the Cathedral’s expert on the Psalter. A verger brought it out in a beautiful box and we looked through every page. There are about 40 coloured and gilded full-page miniatures and then each large letter of the Psalms is also in colour and gold. It is a stunning book and faithfully reproduced.

The St Albans Psalter, also known as the Albani Psalter or the Psalter of Christina of Markyate, is an English illuminated manuscript, one of several psalters known to have been created at or for St Albans Abbey in the 12th century. Since the early 19th century it has been owned by the church of St. Godehard in Hildesheim, Germany but is now stored at the Dombibliothek (Cathedral Library).  The psalter was created at St Albans Abbey between circa 1120 and 1145, during the abbacy of Geoffrey de Gorham and that it was possibly owned by Christina of Markyate (c. 1098-c. 1155-1166), prioress of Markyate. We were very privileged to have been able to see the St Albans Psalter.

For the next three weeks on Monday and Tuesday mornings there is screen printing for children taking place in the North Transept by an artist in residence so we did not stay but went home to try to keep cool as it was yet another extremely hot day at about 26 C with no wind. We spent the day working on our computers. Mike sorting, straightening and mounting three weeks of his photographs and me on the words for the daily blog. I just hope I can remember everything we did over the past ten days. It was my intention to write the blog every day but by the time I had logged all the geocache finds for the day it was usually midnight so I will have to do it in retrospect.