Saints and Stones: St. Ronan's Church (Teampull Ronain)

In 563 A.D., St. Columba (Columcille) and 12 companions founded the monastery of Iona. It became a renowned monastic school of learning and was mainly responsible for the spread of Christianity throughout much of Scotland and northern England. It was here, it is believed, that the Book of Kells, one of the most famous illuminated manuscripts and now residing at Trinity College in Dublin, was produced in whole or in part. After a series of Viking raids, the monastery was eventually abandoned in the 9th Century. In the early 12th Century, the present abbey and a nunnery were erected to house Benedictine monks and Augustinian nuns. They continued to flourish until the Reformation and fell into ruin. The abbey and many of the other monastic buildings, which may be visited today, were laregly renovated in the 20th Century The nunnery has been left in its ruined stage.

A little to the north of and sharing the same grounds as the Iona Nunnery is St. Ronan's Church (Teampull Ronain), an oblong building constructed of the same mix of red and grey stone used in the Nunnery itself. It 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.

After viewing the photos on this page, return to the Saints - Scotland page to view other Iona pages.

About Iona

Historic Scotland: Iona Abbey and Nunnery
Undiscovered Scotland: Iona Abbey
Undiscovered Scotland: Iona Nunnery
Undiscovered Scotland: Relig Odhráin & St Oran's Chapel
Undiscovered Scotland: Infirmary Museum
Wikipedia: Iona
Trinity College: The Book of Kells
Wikipedia: Columba
Wikipedia: Benedictines

Journey to Iona

Iona is a small island located one mile southwest of the larger Isle of Mull in Argyll and Bute off Scotland's West coast. Iona is accessible only by ferry from Mull, which is accessible by ferry from Oban on the Scottish mainland.

Ordnance Survey Map (NM286245)

Visitors Information

Information on Iona may be found at the Historic Scotland Iona Abbey and Nunnery and Iona Community Council websites. Additional information on Iona and information on Mull may be found on the Welcome to Mull and Iona website. Information on the Oban area may be found at the Visit Oban website. Ferry information may be found on the Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) Ferries website.

Additional Photos of St. Ronan's Church (Teampull Ronain)

St. Ronan's Church (Teampull Ronain)
St. Ronan's Church (Teampull Ronain)
Graves of Nuns Outside St. Ronan's Church (Teampull Ronain)

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