The Middle Ages

View digital versions of manuscripts from the middle ages. From some of Wales's oldest manuscripts such as the Black Book of Carmarthen to a selection of Dafydd ap Gwilym's poems.

Medieval Astronomy 

The oldest scientific manuscript in the Library, which contains various Latin texts on astronomy.

The Book of Llandaff

One of Wales’s earliest ecclesiastical manuscripts (ca. 1150) which chronicles the early history of the diocese of Llandaff.

De natura rerum

A 12th century Latin manuscript containing part of Bede's scientific treatise, De natura rerum.

Confirmatio of Henry de Gower

A Latin parchment document, dated 21 May 1328, that revealed the circumstances surrounding the election of Master Henry de Gower as Bishop of St David’s.

History of the Kings

Geoffrey of Monmouth’s highly influential Historia Regum Britanniae, translated into Welsh as 'Brut y Brenhinoedd'

Roman de la Rose

One of the most beautiful of European literary manuscripts from the middle ages.

Laws of Hywel Dda

A Latin version of the native Welsh law with a series of illustrations in the text.

Black Book of Carmarthen

One of the earliest surviving manuscripts written solely in the Welsh language.

Book of Aneirin

One of the oldest and most important Welsh manuscripts. It contains 'Y Gododdin', a poem attributed to the poet Aneirin.

Hendregadredd Manuscript

The earliest collection of the works of the Gogynfeirdd, the Welsh court poets.

Book of Taliesin

One of the most famous Welsh manuscripts containing some of the oldest poems in the Welsh language.

The Great Easton Missal

A beautifully illuminated missal from the mid-15th century that was used during divine service before the Protestant Reformation.

Sherbrooke Missal

A beautiful musical manuscript which dates back to c.1310-1320. This is one of the earliest examples of a Missal of an English source.

Chronicle of the Princes

A manuscript (ca. 1330) containing an early text of the 'Chronicle of the Princes' as well as a copy of 'Bibl Ynghymraec' and the poem 'Myrddin a Gwenddydd'.

The Welsh text of the laws of Hywel Dda

This is the first manuscript of the laws of Hywel Dda in the Welsh language to be digitised by the National Library.

The Boston Manuscript of the Laws of Hywel Dda

A legal manuscript dating from the second half of the 14th century. It was purchased by NLW in 2012 with financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

De Consolatione Philosophiae

A copy (c. 1380), of a translation by the notable poet Geoffrey Chaucer of De Consolatione Philosophiæ (524) by the scholar Anicius Manlius Boethius.

White Book of Rhydderch

The earliest compendium of prose texts in the Welsh language including the earliest version of the Mabinogion.

The 'Hengwrt Chaucer'

History of one of the most important surviving texts of the work of Geoffrey Chaucer.

The Llanbeblig Book of Hours

A manuscript from the Caernarfon area detailing a programme of regular daily devotion at home based on the church's services.

Dafydd ap Gwilym and the Cywyddwyr

A selection of work by Dafydd ap Gwilym, the most distinguished Medieval poet.

Piers Plowman

One of the most famous poems in Middle English describing the narrator's visions about morality, theology and Christian life.

The 'De Grey' Hours

A manuscript detailing a programme of regular daily devotion at home based on the church's daily services.

A Middle English Miscellany

One of the most important medieval English manuscripts at the Library.

Poetry by Lewys Glyn Cothi

A volume of cywyddau in the bard Lewys Glyn Cothi's own hand, containing elegies and cywyddau in praise of Welsh noblemen.

Beunans Meriasek

A metrical play in Middle Cornish telling the story of Saint Meriasek from Brittany.

Black Book of Basingwerk

A volume of Welsh chronicles, mostly copied by the poet Gutun Owain.

The Vaux Passional

One of the most elaborately decorated medieval manuscripts in the National Library, and a rare survival in its original binding.

A Gutun Owain manuscript

A manuscript by Gutun Owain (fl. 1450-98) containing texts about medicine and astrology.

The Battle of Alexander the Great

This is one of the most elaborately decorated medieval manuscripts in the Library. It includes an account of the life of Alexander the Great.

Other medieval manuscripts available

Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch Reference: Peniarth MS 5 B

Gwyrthiau y Wynfydedig Fair a St Edmund Reference: Peniarth MS 14 A

Bucheddau'r Saint, &c. Reference: Peniarth MS 15 A

Breuddwyd Macsen Wledig Reference: Peniarth MS 16 B

Brut y Tywysogion. Reference: Peniarth MS 18 A

A calendar by Gutun Owain Reference: Peniarth MS 27 i B

A compendium of texts Reference: Peniarth MS 27 ii B

Texts copied by Gutun Owain. Reference: Peniarth MS 27 iii B

Cyfraith Hywel Dda Reference: Peniarth MS 33 A

Cyfraith Hywel Dda Reference: Peniarth MS 34 A

Llyfr Cynog Reference: Peniarth MS 35 A

Cyfraith Hywel Dda Reference: Peniarth MS 36 A

Llyfr Morgeneu a Chyfnerth Reference: Peniarth MS 37 A

Cyfraith Hywel Dda Reference: Peniarth MS 38 A

Llyfr Lewys Ysgolhaig Peniarth MS 39 A

Llyfr Calan Reference: Peniarth MS 40 A

Statud Rhuddlan Reference: Peniarth MS 41 A

Galfridi Monemutensis Historia Regnum Brittannie Reference: Peniarth MS 42 A

Liber Historie Gentis Britonum Reference: Peniarth MS 43 A

Brut y Brenhinedd Reference: Peniarth MS 44 A

Brut y Brenhinedd Geoffrey Reference: Peniarth MS 45 A

Brut y Brenhinedd Reference: Peniarth MS 46 A

Dares Phrygius Reference: Peniarth MS 47 A

Y Cwta Cyfarwydd Reference: Peniarth MS 50 A

Proffwydoliaethau Rhys Fardd Reference: Peniarth MS 53 A

Llyfr Syr Thomas ap Ieuan ap Deicws Reference: Peniarth MS 127 D

Cyfreithiau Cymru ac erfyniadau, [late 15 cent.] Reference: Peniarth MS 175

Calendar, [late 15 cent.] Reference: Peniarth MS 186

Calendar, 1596 Reference: Peniarth MS 187

Y Lucidar, [15 cent., first ¼] Reference: Peniarth MS 190

Gwasanaeth y Wynfidedig Fair, [mid 15 cent.] Reference: Peniarth MS 191

Ancient laws, Reference: Peniarth MS 328

Ancient laws, Reference: Peniarth MS 329

The abbey of the Holy Ghost, etc., Reference: Peniarth MS 334

De contemptu mundi, etc., [15 cent.] Reference: Peniarth MS 336

Ecclesiastica historia gentis Anglorum Reference: Peniarth MS 381 D