Iona Abbey
Baile Mor, Isle of Iona OS Map
Abbey; Cathedral; Early Christian Cross Canmore
Also known as Cathedral of St Mary

Iona is one of the most important sites in the history of Christianity in Britain. St Columba came here from Ireland in 563 and founded a monastery from which Christianity was introduced to Scotland over the following centuries.

In the early 9th century, Viking raiders attacked and killed many of the monks but over the following decades some monks returned.

A new Benedictine monastery was founded here in the 13th century. At the end of the 15th century the church became the Cathedral of the Bishops of the Isles. There was further rebuilding and restoration through the 19th and 20th centuries and the abbey is still in use as a centre for a Christian community.

Many early carved stones are in the museum here, including the 8th century St John's Cross. A replica stands outside the church. The 9th century St Martin's Cross still stands nearby.

Images ©2014 Martin McCarthy, Theasis Photography

Nearby Sites

30km Cillchriosd Standing Stone
(NB: All distances are as-the-crow-flies. Lochs, mountains and beautiful winding roads will make it further. Sometimes much further.)