Cambridge, University Library, Ff. 1. 27 + Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 66

Present Location

Ff. 1. 27

Medieval Provenance

General Information




Part 1 of a two-part manuscript. The other part is CCCC 66. The twenty lines of alliterative verse in Old English with a Latin heading is included in part 1. These verses are among historical texts relating to Durham. Another copy of them, now burnt, was in Vitellius D. xx (Ker 1957, p. 12).

Digital Surrogates

Manuscript Items

Itemp. 202

  • Title (A.11): Durham

    Title (manuscript): De situ dunelmi. et de sanctorum reliquiis que ibidem continentur carmen compositum.

    Incipit: Is ðeos burch. breome geond breotenrice

    Explicit: bideð (ends imperfectly because the final two-and-a-half lines have been erased)

    Text Language: English


    Arnold 1882-85, i, p. 221

    Dobbie 1942, p. 27

    Grein and Wülcker 1881-98, i. p. 389

    Ker 1957, p. 12

    Object Description


    Form: Codex

    Support: Parchment

    Collation: A composite manuscript of originally twelfth- and fourteenth-century books. The twelfth-century part was originally together with Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 66 (See 'History' below). According to Meehan 1994, the collation is:

    • Twelfth-century book: I8 (pp. 1-16); II12 (pp. 17-40);
    • Fourteenth-century book: pp. 41-72;
    • Twelfth-century book: III-V8 (pp. 73-120); VI6 (lacks 6, pp. 121-130); VII-IX8 (pp. 131-78); X14 (lacks 6, 10, pp. 179-202); XI10 (lacks 2, pp. 203-30); XII-XIII8 (pp. 221-52).

    Hand Description

    Number of Hands: 1 in Old English

    Summary: The Old English verse is written in the same hand and brown ink as the Historia de sancto cuthberto which precedes it (pp. 195-202).

    Hand: main text

    • Scope: Major
    • Summary of the characteristics of the hand: Caroline minuscule. Ker 1957 lists the following characteristics:
      • d is round-backed, as often as in the Latin text preceding the verse, and is the same shape as ð.
      • g is insular.
      • ð is the same shape as d.
      • ƿ is not used.
      • p stands for ƿ
      • The ends of the descenders incline to the left.

    Additional Information

    Administration Information

    Manuscript described by Hollie Morgan and Takako Kato with the assistance of Simon Patterson and Sanne van der Schee, with reference to published scholarship (2010; 2013)


    Digital surrogate for CUL Ff. 1. 27: (accessed 18 July 2018)

    Digital surrogate for CCCC 66: (accessed 18 July 2018)




    Part 1 of this manuscript, together with CCCC 66, was from the Cistercian abbey of Sawley, Yorkshire. The ex-libris, s. xii/xiii is on p. 2 of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 66 (Ker 1957, p. 12). Meehan 1994, however, suggests that the manuscript was a Durham product (p. 443).


    The manuscript belonged to Archbishop Parker.


    Archbishop Parker split two manuscripts in half and rebound them: the twelfth-century manuscript was from Sawley and the fourteenth-century manuscript from Bury St. Edmund's. He bound the first halves of the manuscripts together and gave the resulting volume to Cambridge Corpus Christi College (now CCCC 66 and 66A), and bound the latter halves of manuscripts together and gave the resulting volume to Cambridge University Library in 1574; this is now CUL Ff. 1. 27.

    CUL Ff. 1. 27 was formerly known as no. 247. The full contents of Sawley and Bury manuscripts are listed by James 1600, which is reproduced on Parker Library on the Web.


    Sawley Abbey Yorkshire


    Arnold, Thomas, Symeonis monachi opera omnia, Rolls Series, 75, 2 vols (London: Longman, 1882-85)

    Cambridge Corpus Christi College, and Stanford University, Parker Library on the Web(, accessed 2010), see the entry for CCCC 66

    Dobbie, Elliott van Kirk, ed., The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems, The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, 6 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1942)

    Grein, C. W. M, and R. P Wülker, Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Poesie, 3 vols (1881- 98)

    James, Thomas, Ecloga Oxonio-Cantabrigiensis (1600)

    Ker, N. R., Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957; repr. 1990), item 14

      Meehan, Bernard, 'Durham Twelft-Century Manuscripts in Cistercian Houses', in Anglo-Norman Durham: 1093-1193, ed. by David Rollason, Margaret Harvey and Michael Prestwich (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1994), pp. 439-50