This tiny island was the most important place for Christianity in Britain when St Columba arrived here from Ireland in AD563 and established a monastery. It was from his base here that he sent out missionaries’ to Scotland to convert the inhabitants to Christianity.
St Columba was buried here but later his remains were sent back to Ireland, the cathedral here has parts dating from 1500. Iona has the oldest Christian cemetery in Scotland St Orans and was the burial place of the Scottish kings.
48 Kings are buried here including Duncan who was murdered by Macbeth; on the road to the cemetery, you can see the Celtic cross of John McClean. The Celtic crosses of St John and St Martin can be seen near the cathedral; Queen Margaret built the chapel to St Oran in 1080.
The book of Kells now in trinity College Dublin was transcribed here, it was moved when the monks left the island due to viking raids.
Activities in Iona
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