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Iona Abbey Interior

By achieverswales
Thanks everyone for comments and votes yesterday, I think the vote was split on the colour or mono preference, Iona is a beautiful island and was one of the two days the sun was shining, below some info on the abbey.

Iona Abbey is located on the Isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland. It is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe. The abbey was a focal point for the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland and marks the foundation of a monastic community by St. Columba, when Iona was part of the Kingdom of Dál Riata.

St Columba came to Iona from Ireland with twelve companions, and founded a monastery which grew to be an influential centre for the spread of Christianity among the Picts and Scots. Kings were crowned, and also buried, on Iona. The Book of Kells, a famous illuminated manuscript, is believed to have been produced by the monks of Iona in the years leading up to 800. The Chronicle of Ireland was also produced at Iona until about 740. In 806, Vikings massacred 68 monks in Martyrs' Bay, and Columba's monks returned to Ireland, and a Monastery at Kells: other monks from Iona fled to the Continent, and established Monasteries in Belgium, France, and Switzerland. In 825, St Blathmac and those monks who had returned with him to Iona, were martyred by a further Viking raid, and the Abbey burned. However, it was probably not deserted. Its continued importance is shown by the death there in 980 of Amlaíb Cuarán, a retired King of Dublin.

Iona had been seized by the King of Norway, who held it for fifty years before Somerled recaptured it, and invited renewed Irish involvement in 1164: this led to the central part of the Cathedral being built. Ranald, Somerled's son, now 'Lord of the Isles', in 1203 invited the Benedictine order to establish a new Monastery, and the first (Benedictine) Nunnery, on the Columban foundations. Building work began on the new Abbey church, on the site of Columba's original church.

A very early Nunnery, founded in the thirteenth century, of the Augustinian Order, (one of only two in Scotland - the other is in Perth) the Iona Nunnery, was established south of the Abbey buildings. Graves of some of the early nuns remain, including that of a remarkable Prioress, Anna Maclean, who died in 1543. Clearly visible under her outer robe is the 'rochet' a pleated surplice denoting the Augustinian Order. The Nunnery buildings were rebuilt in the fifteenth century and fell into disrepair after the Reformation.

The Abbey church was substantially expanded in the fifteenth century, but following the Scottish Reformation, Iona along with numerous other abbeys throughout the British Isles were dismantled, and abandoned, their monks and Libraries dispersed.

St John's Cross in the Abbey museumThe original Benedictine Abbey was substantially rebuilt following the Duke of Argyll's gift of all the buildings in 1899 to the Church of Scotland, which undertook extensive restoration of the site. In 1938, the inspiration of Reverend George MacLeod led a group which rebuilt the abbey, and founded the Iona Community. The surrounding buildings were also re-constructed during the 20th century by the Iona Community.This ecumenical Christian community continues to use the site to this day.

The site was much loved by John Smith, Leader of the Labour Party. After his sudden death in 1994, he was buried on Iona.

The cloisters of Iona Abbey.Many early Scottish kings (said to be 48 in total), as well as kings from Ireland, Norway and France, are said to be buried in the Abbey graveyard. However, modern scholars are sceptical of such claims, which were likely invented to increase the prestige of Iona. The island is the resting place of numerous leading Hebrideans such as various Lords of the Isles and other prominent members of West Highland clans. A more recent grave is that of Scottish politician John Smith (d. 1994).

Several high crosses are found on the Isle of Iona. St Martin's Cross (dated to the 8th Century) still stands by the road side. A replica of St John's Cross is found by the doorway of the Abbey. The restored original is located in the Infirmary Museum at the rear of the abbey.

The contemporary Jedburgh-based sculptor Christopher Hall worked for many years on carvings on the cloisters of the abbey, which represent birds, flora and fauna native to the island. He was also responsible for carving John Smith's gravestone.

Tags: Abbey Architecture Island Holy History Hdr Iona Monks Nuns

Voters: mrswoolybill, mex, jennialexander and 20 more

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23 Sep 2011 10:07AM
you spoil us for choice today Trevor all excellent and the stone work looks very natural nice work a fine set and a good history lesson

Graham GrinGrinGrinGrin

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RonnieAG Plus
8 154 118 Scotland
23 Sep 2011 10:51AM
What an excellent and detailed commentary to accompany this set from Iona: my father, who was a Church of Scotland minister knew George MacLeod quite well and on more than one occasion he guest preached in my Dad's church.
Thank you for showing us the excellent set from the Abbey, Trev.
CarolG 11 199 20 Greece
23 Sep 2011 11:12AM
A cracking selection, Trev, and the interior image is superb, what an enchanting little abbey. Carol
23 Sep 2011 3:17PM
Trevor, Great set. V2,3,6 & 9 for me. Eric.
TrevBatWCC Plus
9 12 12 England
23 Sep 2011 4:27PM
I didn't get many images of this abbey - or the rest of what I saw of Iona - as it was before I went digital. This is a super set, Trev, so nice to see it again, thanks for sharing these images with us Smile
Trev Smile
franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
23 Sep 2011 6:39PM
A truly excellent set here Trev.

pluckyfilly 11 351 33 United Kingdom
23 Sep 2011 10:33PM
good set of which I think you chose well for the lead photo - all well taken
Brian65 9 2 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2011 5:13PM
A great set Trev, and loads of info, thanks.
Rende 11 38 4 Netherlands
25 Sep 2011 11:21AM
Beautiful series Trev, with V1 my favourite; great colours and detail!
swanseamale47 10 124 United Kingdom
25 Sep 2011 7:45PM
I can't really choose a favorite Trev, I like them all.
cabbie Plus
11 31 United Kingdom
25 Sep 2011 10:04PM
Excellent in every way well done Trev


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