In August 2022 library and archives staff assisted a film crew who were in College for two days, making a documentary about the historic library of Llanthony Secunda Priory. The Corpus Library has more than twenty medieval manuscripts which were once part of the library at Llanthony Secunda, an Augustinian Priory founded outside the city walls of Gloucester in 1136. Llanthony's primary purpose was as a religious community dedicated to sharing the message of God. The canons reading and writing skills were crucial to this. Books carrying and analysing the Word of God were critical to religious communities, so building up a library of key texts was a priority. The library flourished for four hundred years, but was dispersed at the dissolution of the monasteries in the sixteenth century, and its manuscripts have found homes in libraries across the world. Those now at Corpus came to us via Henry Parry, a student and then fellow of Corpus from 1614, whose father had probably acquired them whilst Bishop of Gloucester.
The film, The Lost Library of Llanthony, features beautiful footage of Corpus Library and Chapel, and close-ups of several of the manuscripts. It was created as an educational introduction to be shown at the Llanthony Secunda Priory visitor centre. It rediscovers a library of medieval manuscripts, created by the scholars of Llanthony Secunda, tracing the stories the books tell, how they were created, and how they survived almost certain destruction.
Watch the The Lost Library of Llanthony here.
For information on Llanthony Secunda, please click here.