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Impression of Insular manuscript production tends inevitably to concentrate on Ireland and Anglo-Saxon England. In the absence of early manuscript evidence from Celtic Britain, there is epigraphic evidence in the form of inscribed stone monuments: those from Wales and Cornwall provide an almost continuous record of letter-forms from the end of the Roman period onwards. The earliest manuscript for which a Welsh origin has been hypothesised is the Lichfield Gospels, a magnificently decorated eighth-century gospel-book. A second gospel-book for which a Welsh origin has been proposed is the Hereford Gospels. There are just three pre-Conquest manuscripts for which a Pictish or Scottish origin has been posited. Paradoxically, one of these is one of the best known Insular manuscripts in the world: the Book of Kells. The other pre-Conquest manuscript that might be considered Scottish is the Book of Deer, a small gospel-book which was at Deer (Aberdeenshire) in the eleventh century.
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