ISLE OF MULL - IONA EXCURSIONClick for larger photos.
Ferry from Mull to Iona
On May 23, we had a bus ride across the Isle of Mull and took the ferry to the Isle of Iona. Our Tour Director, Gordon Tait, handed us a rough sketch which he guaranteed was an accurate Map of Iona (perfectly to scale, etc.)
Abbot's House and Abbey
Most of the tour group started at the Abbot's House and the Abbey or Cathedral on the furthest part of the island. The appearance had changed since our trip in 1974. We appreciated the signs and information. The fields around the abbey did not escape Pat's attention.
The Graves of Kings
The graves of kings and St Oran's Chapel were in an enclosure beside the Abbey. Many of the inscriptions were impossible to read due to exposure to the elements over the centuries. Kings from early Alba, Scotland and Norway were buried here.
The Columba Hotel and Gardens
On our walk towards the ruins of the 13th century nunnery, we passed the St. Columba Hotel and its well-kept garden.
MacLean's Cross, St Ronan's Church and the Parish Church
West of the 15th century MacLean's cross, we also took pictures of the St Ronan's Church and the parish church. St Ronan's Church, an oblong buiding of red and grey stone, served as the parish church of Iona from around 1200 until the Reformation in 1560. Thereafter islanders had no formal place of worship until a new parish church was built in 1828. St Ronan's Church was restored in 1923 and again in 1993, and is not accessible to the public.
The Iona Nunnery
The nunnery was founded in the 11th century by Reginald, son of Somerled of the Isles, and his sister Bethoc (Beatrice) was the first prioress. Unlike the resmaining abbey buildings, it has not been restored since being made derelict during the Reformation.
Back to Lunch and the Ferry
The timing was perfect! Pat and Doug took different paths to cover the island, and eventually met back at the Martyr's Bay Restaurant. We had time for a light lunch and a few final photos before the ferry arrived.
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