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The return of The Nuneaton Book

Published on Monday, 24th January 2022

Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery 21 January 2022 – 6 March 2022

After a gap of over 500 years we are delighted to welcome back an important part of the history of Nuneaton!

This manuscript, known as The Nuneaton Book, is dated around 1280. It belonged to Lady Margaret Sylemon who was head of Nuneaton Abbey in the late fourteenth century. This unique book, written and decorated by hand on parchment, contains several works in Latin and French including the Apocalypse and a Bestiary. It also displays a chant in praise of the Virgin Mary, part of the daily prayer routine for monks and nuns. The Book is on loan from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

The Nuneaton Book forms part of a fantastic new exhibition ‘Nuneaton Abbey & The Birth of a Town.’ Drawing on historical research, museum archaeological collections and featuring specially commissioned artwork this exhibition explores the significance of one of the most important buildings to have existed in Nuneaton and examines the lives of the people who lived there.

The exhibition and project, Nuneaton Abbey & The Birth of a Town is supported with funding from Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants.

Councillor Sue Markham, Portfolio Holder for Public Services said:

‘The loan of the Nuneaton Book from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge is a real coup for the Museum & Art Gallery and its visitors. The Book provides a tangible link between the Abbey and the people who lived ,worked and prayed within it. I urge you to come and see this remarkable artefact whist it is available to be seen. Also take time to enjoy the wonderful exhibition about Nuneaton Abbey! It presents a wonderful story and something the residents of Nuneaton can be justly proud of.’

The Museum is open Tuesday 10.30am to 4.30pm, Wednesday 10.30am to 4.30pm, Thursday (downstairs and tearoom only) 10.30 - 4.30pm, Friday 10.30am to 4.30pm and Saturday 10.30 - 4.30pm. FREE admission but donations welcome.