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An Irish Abbey founded on a coastal Island of modern day Scottland.

It was a focal point for the spread of Christianity among the Scotts and Picts.


1000 AD[]

Most of the abbey had been relocated to Ireland, though it was probably still inhabited.

Earlier History[]

  • In 563, St. Columba came to Iona and founded a monastary. The original buildings would have been made of wood and thatch.
  • Around 800 AD, the original wooden chapel was likely replaced by a stone chapel.
  • The Abbey was first attacked by Viking raiders in 795, and later in 802, 806, and 825. Many martyrs were produced during the raids.
  • The main relics were moved to Ireland in 878.
  • Amlaib Cuaran, a retired King of Dublin and Northumbria, died here in 980.

Later History[]

  • Iona was seized by the King of Norway in 1114 AD.
  • It was recaptured by Somerland in 1168, who invited the Irish back.
  • Ranald "Lord of the Isles" invited the Benedictine order to establish a new monastery and an Augustinian Nunnery to establish a new abbey in 1203.
  • The nunnery buildings were rebuilt in the 15th century, but fell into disrepair after the Reformation.
  • In 1899, the Duke of Argyl transferred ownerships of the ruins of the Abbey and Nunnery to the Iona Cathedral Trust, which restored the Abbey church.
  • In 1938 Rev. George MacLeod led a group which rebuilt the abbey and founded the Iona Community.

Modern History[]

  • In 2000, the Iona Cathedral Trust handed over care to historic Scotland.


Iona Abbey Web Pages[]

Iona Abbey In the News[]


Virtual Tourism[]

Related Pages[]