Gaelic title: Air Toir Manachainn Dheir
On the shelves of the library at Cambridge University lies a book that symbolises the heart of Scottish Gaelic culture: the Book of Deer. It is a gospel book that was written in Deer in Aberdeenshire sometime between the 8th and 12th century. Within the pages of the book is the first ever writing that exists in Scottish Gaelic.
“The Book of Deer is a tiny book but it has left a huge legacy for us, not only in the north east but for the whole of Scotland. We had to wait another 200-300 years after the Book of Deer to find any more evidence of written Scottish Gaelic” – Dr Michelle MacLeod, senior lecturer in Gaelic at University of Aberdeen. Without doubt, one of the most important texts in the Scottish Gaelic language, the Book of Deer was written in the ancient monastery of Deer that disappeared over 1,000 years ago.
This documentary is the story of a team of archeologists, students and volunteers who spent nine days on an archaeological dig in the hunt for the lost monastery of Deer, and they found more than they bargained for.