Iona, Iona Nunnery

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Site Type NUNNERY
Canmore ID 21621
Site Number NM22SE 14
NGR NM 28487 24095
Council ARGYLL AND BUTE
Parish KILFINICHEN AND KILVICKEON
Former Region STRATHCLYDE
Former District ARGYLL AND BUTE
Former County ARGYLL
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Architectural Notes

Iona, Iona Nunnery.
IG Lindsay Coll, W/114.

Iona, Iona Nunnery.
Ross sketch books MS 28/463/13/7 - unable to locate at time of upgrade 12.4.2000.

Iona, Iona Nunnery.
MISCELLANEOUS:
National Library - Scottish Notes and Queries, Feb 1931 - drawing by Thos. Ross.

Notes and Activities Click to sort results by Event date ascending

Archaeological Notes

NM22SE 14.00 28487 24095.

NM22SE 14.01 2843 2410 Iona Nunnery Sheela-na-gig

For (restored) Iona Abbey or St Mary's Cathedral (NM 2867 2451), see NM22SE 5.

(NM 2843 2410) Nunnery (NR) (In Ruins)
OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1900)

The remains of an Augustinian priory founded in 1207 or 1208 and dedicated to St Mary (Skene 1873) or St Oran (Pennant 1934).
In 1574 the prioress and convent disposed of the lands, which suggests that the priory was dissolved about that time.
The remains, substantial and, at least in part, original were repaired in 1923 and the cloister garth planted as a memorial garden. Many early sculptured stones are preserved in the convent.
In the NMAS are four silver spoons and a broken gold fillet found during preservation work in December 1922 at the base of the south respond of the chancel arch. There were indications that they had been deposited, wrapped in linen, in the 13th century.
The priory is sometimes attributed to the Benedictines, but Vatican records describe it as Augustinian.
D E Easson 1957; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1896-7; A O Curle 1924; W F Skene 1875; T Pennant 1774; A Ritchie and E Ritchie 1934.

The remains of the priory are as described and planned.
Visited by OS (JP) 8 June 1972.

NM22SE 5 (Abbey); NM 284 240 (Nunnery) Resistivity and geophysical surveys were undertaken at Iona Abbey (see NM22SE 5) and Nunnery by Geophysical Surveys of Bradford for AOC(Scotland)Ltd.
At the Nunnery, a broad, curvilinear magnetic anomaly appears to respect the NE corner of the convent buildings. While this may simply represent an igneous geological feature, it may, alternatively, represent buried road metalling in igneous materials. In the same part of the site, a rectilinear group of features offering high resistance may represent buried wall-butts.
Sponsor: Iona Cathedral Trust Ltd.
J O'Sullivan 1995.

1874 to 1877
 MEASURED SURVEY

Further details

November 1917
 MEASURED SURVEY

Further details

February 1931
 EXTERNAL REFERENCE

Notes National Library - Scottish Notes and Queries, Feb 1931 - drawing by Thos. Ross.

Further details

10 March 1939
 FIELD VISIT

Further details

1957
 REFERENCE

Notes The remains of an Augustinian priory founded in 1207 or 1208 and dedicated to St Mary (Skene 1873) or St Oran (Pennant 1934).
In 1574 the prioress and convent disposed of the lands, which suggests that the priory was dissolved about that time.
The remains, substantial and, at least in part, original were repaired in 1923 and the cloister garth planted as a memorial garden. Many early sculptured stones are preserved in the convent.
In the NMAS are four silver spoons and a broken gold fillet found during preservation work in December 1922 at the base of the south respond of the chancel arch. There were indications that they had been deposited, wrapped in linen, in the 13th century.
The priory is sometimes attributed to the Benedictines, but Vatican records describe it as Augustinian.
D E Easson 1957; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1896-7; A O Curle 1924; W F Skene 1875; T Pennant 1774; A Ritchie and E Ritchie 1934.

Further details

1970 to 1971
 MEASURED SURVEY

Further details

8 June 1972
 FIELD VISIT

Notes The remains of the priory are as described and planned.
Visited by OS (JP) 8 June 1972.

Further details

1973
 PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY

Further details

1978
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 1978 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

1980
 FIELD VISIT

Notes 8m W of the midden B (NL58SE 6) are 2 small cairns, the larger c. 3.5m across and 'horse-shoe' shaped in plan, and 0.6m high. The other lies 4m to the SW and is c. 2.5m across. Both cairns appear to be stratigraphically earlier than the midden. In the E edge of the larger cairn a rim of Iron Age type pottery was found in 1971.
C B Buxton 1981.

Further details

2 September 1994
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 1994 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

1995
 GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY

Notes NM22SE 5 (Abbey); NM 284 240 (Nunnery) Resistivity and geophysical surveys were undertaken at Iona Abbey (see NM22SE 5) and Nunnery by Geophysical Surveys of Bradford for AOC(Scotland)Ltd.
At the Nunnery, a broad, curvilinear magnetic anomaly appears to respect the NE corner of the convent buildings. While this may simply represent an igneous geological feature, it may, alternatively, represent buried road metalling in igneous materials. In the same part of the site, a rectilinear group of features offering high resistance may represent buried wall-butts.
Sponsor: Iona Cathedral Trust Ltd.
J O'Sullivan 1995.

Further details

2 June 1997
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 1997 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

3 May 2007
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 2007 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

 
Books and References

Anon (1930) 'The Nunnery', (Iona) Scot Country Life May
Page(s): 140

Cowan and Easson, I B and D E (1976) Medieval religious houses in Scotland: with an appendix on the houses in the Isle of Man, London
Page(s): 127 Held at RCAHMS C.3.2.EAS.R

Curle, A O (1924) 'A note on four silver spoons and a fillet of gold found in The Nunnery of Iona; and on a finger-ring, part of a fillet and a fragment of wire, all of gold, found in St Ronan's Chapel, The Nunnery, Iona', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.58
Page(s): 102-11

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