Chance to see rare 1611 King James Bible this weekend

PUBLISHED: 09:45 28 September 2012

David Saunders preparing for the Carbrooke Heritage weekend at St Peter and St Paul Church in the village. Photograph Simon Parker

David Saunders preparing for the Carbrooke Heritage weekend at St Peter and St Paul Church in the village. Photograph Simon Parker


A rare copy of the 1611 King James Bible will be on show this weekend in the church where it was discovered.

The surviving Bible was used by St Peter and St Paul Church in Carbrooke just over 400 years ago, but unlike many places of worship it was not thrown out when updated versions were printed.

It was found in a back room of the church near Watton in the early 1980s by the then vicar Philip Harrison and churchwarden David Saunders.

Since the discovery, the Bible has been kept in the Norwich Cathedral library and was featured in a London exhibition last year to mark the 400th year of the document.

This book will be one of the attractions at the Carbrooke Harvest Heritage Weekend between 10am and 5pm tomorrow and Sunday.

Mr Saunders, chairman of the Carbrooke Heritage Group, said: “It (the Bible) was in remarkably good condition when we found it because it is quite damp here.

“Philip Harrison and I were going through everything and thought, ‘Wow. Look what we have got’. We realised its importance and thought it should be cared for.

“We are proud of it. We are a tiny village but have a huge amount of history.”

The book was the first Bible to be printed in English under the order of King James I of England and is often described as one of the most important publications in history.

But it is not only this fascinating book which enthusiasts and villagers will be able to enjoy during the heritage weekend.

Other “treasures” will include Medieval song sheets used by monks, known as the Knights of St John, in the 15th century.

Parish records dating back to 1539, maps showing the village from 1718 and photos from the 18th century will also be on show.

“It is surprising how little the village has changed,” Mr Saunders added.

On Sunday a refurbished Page Hunton plough, originally made in Carbrooke in 1900, will be unveiled by John Page, the great grandson of the man who made the farming implement.

The refurbished village sign will also be revealed by one of Carbrooke’s oldest villagers Enid Clarke.

If you would like to join the Carbrooke Heritage Group contact Mr Saunders on 01953 883510.

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