This website uses cookies. To see what the new EU legislation means for you click here.

Lindisfarne Gospels go Floral


A spectacular festival of flowers and design called Jewels of the North will be taking place at Durham Cathedral from 30 August to 4 September. Jewels of the North is inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels which are on display in Durham for summer 2013 on loan from the British Library.

 Famous Sunderland ex-pat, Kate Adie OBE accepted an invitation to be the festival’s patron and acclaimed floral designers Pauline Lund and Judith Clancy are working with members of flower clubs in the Northumberland and Durham Area of NAFAS (The National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies). The Cathedral will be filled with stunning flower arrangements on an unprecedented scale.

Kate Adie is patron of Jewels of the North, and visited the Cathedral in November to see how plans for the festival are progressing, “I have only once before seen a Cathedral filled with flowers — in Peterborough a few years ago—and it was a truly magnificent sight. When I was asked to be the Patron of Jewels of the North, I knew that I could not say no.

Growing up in Sunderland, Durham Cathedral was known as the church on the hill. It is still how I think of it now, as a wonderfully inspirational building, and it will be simply transformed by this spectacular festival of flowers and design. To see this glorious Cathedral garlanded with flowers on an unprecedented scale will be a sight to behold.”

A series of floral related events are planned as part of the festival ranging from an Evening with Kate Adie and Eric Robson of Gardeners’ Question Time fame; to a brass concert called Jewels of Brass to include floral inspired music; and a production of As You Like It, Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy in the unique setting of Cathedral’s Galilee Chapel, which will be transformed into the Forest of Arden complete with trees, flowers and fauna. Information about the Jewels of the North and all that is taking place can be found on

Jewels of the North is a fundraising event in support of the Cathedral’s Open Treasure project, as it looks to transform the way visitors can enjoy the Cathedral and gain inspiration from it. Visitors can already enjoy the new Cathedral Shop with access via the new Undercroft Foyer, as a completed Open Treasure project.

Visitors to Jewels of the North will be encouraged to make a suggested donation of £5 and a souvenir guide book will be available for purchase. Group visits to Jewels of the North can be pre-booked by contacting

View the news archive