The Luttrell Psalter (Illuminated Manuscripts)

Ref: C3678523

The Luttrell Psalter is a magnificent medieval illuminated manuscript made 1335-1345 probably in the South Lincolnshire area. It contains the Psalms and Canticles for church use and is profusely illustrated with religious and lay scenes of medieval life, it is these scenes which are of great interest, giving an insight into 'everyday life in Medieval England'. The Psalter was commissioned by Sir Geoffrey Luttrell (1276 -1345) who held the manor of Irnham located between Grantham and Bourne in south Lincolnshire, he also held property in Bridgeford Nottinghamshire. He and his family are depicted with his household servants and others of the manor and surrounding countryside, towns and cities, international events are also illustrated. This manuscript shines a light onto the daily lives of people working in the medieval landscape during the period before the 'black death' of 1348-9 decimated the population of medieval England.

Course aim

This course will introduce students to the medieval world of the Luttrell Psalter. This illustrated Psalter contains a wealth of illustrations depicting medieval rural, and urban life in the period before the black death decimated medieval England.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: and
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit:
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • You will need to talk to a member of staff and do a short activity to make sure the course is right for you. For more information and to book an appointment please call 0300 303 3464

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe the nature of the evidence the manuscript provides.
  • Show what we can deduce from the illustrations in the Luttrell Psalter.
  • Place the Luttrell Psalter evidence into the national context of the period.
  • Outline the peasants feudal obligations as shown in the manuscript.
  • Sketch a (mental) picture of the agricultural economy the manuscript depicts.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • You will be able to keep a digital portfolio of your work on WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas.
  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • The tutor will take the class through selected illustrations and describe what is being shown, including various insights as to what is meant as well as illustrated.

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit:
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You will have access to course resources and links to wider learning through the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas:
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • The Luttrell Psalter. Janet Backhouse 1989, The British Library London. Medieval Rural Life in the Luttrell Psalter. Janet Backhouse 2000, The British Library London. The World of the Luttrell Psalter. Michelle P. Brown 2006, The British Library London.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Museum visits to institutions holding relevant medieval material including the British Library to see the actual manuscript.

Download full course information sheet

The Luttrell Psalter (Illuminated Manuscripts)


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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