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Iona, St Oran's Chapel And Reilig Odhrain

Cross(S) (Period Unassigned), Cross Slab(S) (Early Medieval)

Site Name Iona, St Oran's Chapel And Reilig Odhrain

Classification Cross(S) (Period Unassigned), Cross Slab(S) (Early Medieval)

Canmore ID 204567

Site Number NM22SE 10.01

NGR NM 2857 2443

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilfinichen And Kilvickeon
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll


Reference (2001)

NM22SE 10.01 2857 2443

The following early medieval stones have been recorded as associated with Relig Odhrain. The locations given below were revised in 1998, but are subject to further alteration.

(Iona 2) Lost; recorded in Reilig Odhrain in 1877. Thin slab, 0.61 m by 0.18 m, bearing a cross with the transom at mid-height. (Dryden MS 8, no.8b).

(14) Now at Inveraray Castle (see NN00NE 11); removed from Reilig Odhrain about 1854. Fragment of a slab, 0.84m long. It bears an incomplete Latin cross with forked terminals, and a half-uncial Old Irish inscription reading: + OR(OIT) DO MAILFAT[AR/IC] ('A prayer for Mail-Phatraic'). The last four letters of the inscription were lost about 1852. Professor K H Jackson dated it epigraphically to the 9th century.

*(26A) Reilig Odhrain. Irregular fragment of a slab of Torridonian flagstone, found in re-use as a gravemarker in 1991. It measures about 0.5m in height and width and bears the outline of what was presumably the shaft of a cross, 0.26m in surviving height and 0.11m wide. The foot is slightly expanded and has a concave end, and the angles of the surface project as slight spurs across the flat-bottomed groove that defines the outline. Below the shaft and on its central axis there are two grooves 50mm apart which extend to the broken edge of the slab. These probably represented a pedestal, although they are separated from the foot of the shaft by a gap of 40mm.

(52) Reilig Odhrain. Roughly rectangular slab, 1.92m by 0.57m, bearing in the upper half a ringed cross with rounded sunken armpits.

(54) Reilig Odhrain; traditionally believed to be the tomb of a French king. Dressed slab of granite, 1.54m by 0.62m, bearing a ringed cross with rounded sunken armpits; the shaft terminates at the foot in a narrower tenon. The upper arm has a splayed terminal and its end, like those of the side-arms, is open.

(101) Reilig Odhrain, S wall. Corner of a socket-stone, well squared but much damaged, 0.59m by 0.48m by 0.08m.

(103) Reilig Odhrain, set in the ground 15m S of St Oran's Chapel, at the site of a possible entrance through the monastic vallum. Massive rounded block of granite, 1.18m from N to S by 0.87m and now split across the middle, which incorporates a socket 0.72m by 0.34m and 0.32m deep. The socket seems disproportionately shallow and, like that of St John's Cross (NM22SE 4.05), this base may have been used in conjunction with an upper 'lid'.

See also stones (nos.11, 19, 20, 25, 33, 34A, 45, 51, 56, 59, *63, 68, 69, and 99) now in the Abbey Museum (NM22SE 5.01), stone (no.89) now in the Abbey (NM22SE 5), and stones (nos.81 and 90) in the Nunnery Museum, St Ronan's Church (NM22SE 22.01).

I Fisher 2001.

External Reference (28 October 2011)

Scheduled as element within 'The monument known as St Mary's Abbey, Iona, monastic settlement [comprising] the remains of the large early historic monastic settlement founded by St Columba in AD 563, St Martin's Cross, and parts of medieval buildings associated with the Benedictine Abbey of St Mary founded around AD 1200.'

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 28 October 2011.


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