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TITLE
St Oran's Chapel, Iona
EXTERNAL ID
PC_PRISCUS_SCO5289
PLACENAME
Iona
DISTRICT
Mull
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ARGYLL: Kilfinchen and Kilvickeon
PERIOD
1890s
CREATOR
George Washington Wilson
SOURCE
Mark Butterworth - Priscus
ASSET ID
29576
KEYWORDS
George Washington Wilson
abbeys
burial grounds
Macdonalds
Lords of the Isles
kings
princes
chiefs
legends
sacrifices
St Oran's Chapel, Iona

This photograph shows St. Oran's Chapel, Iona. It was taken by George Washington Wilson (1823 - 1893) an Aberdeen-based photographer who travelled extensively in Scotland, and abroad, taking landscape photographs with the aid of a portable darkroom. He photographed Queen Victoria and was commissioned by her to record the construction of Balmoral.

Oran's Chapel is situated close to Iona Abbey. It was built in the twelfth century and is the oldest surviving ecclesiastical building on Iona. It is the burial place of the Macdonalds and the Lords of the Isles and is surrounded by Relig Odhran, the last resting place of forty-eight kings of Scotland, four Irish Princes, eight Norwegian kings, a king of France and many great Highland chiefs.

A legend tells that Columba wished to build a chapel but the walls that were built during the day were brought down during the night by the powers of darkness. Columba had a vision which showed him that the only way to build the chapel was to offer a human sacrifice. One of the brethren, Oran, offered himself and was duly buried alive. The walls of the chapel then stood firm. Columba was so sorry at the loss of his friend that three days later he uncovered the grave. He heard the voice of Oran tell him that heaven and hell were not as had been supposed! Columba had the grave hastily filled in again.

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St Oran's Chapel, Iona

ARGYLL: Kilfinchen and Kilvickeon

1890s

George Washington Wilson; abbeys; burial grounds; Macdonalds; Lords of the Isles; kings; princes; chiefs; legends; sacrifices

Mark Butterworth - Priscus

Imaging the Past

This photograph shows St. Oran's Chapel, Iona. It was taken by George Washington Wilson (1823 - 1893) an Aberdeen-based photographer who travelled extensively in Scotland, and abroad, taking landscape photographs with the aid of a portable darkroom. He photographed Queen Victoria and was commissioned by her to record the construction of Balmoral.<br /> <br /> Oran's Chapel is situated close to Iona Abbey. It was built in the twelfth century and is the oldest surviving ecclesiastical building on Iona. It is the burial place of the Macdonalds and the Lords of the Isles and is surrounded by Relig Odhran, the last resting place of forty-eight kings of Scotland, four Irish Princes, eight Norwegian kings, a king of France and many great Highland chiefs.<br /> <br /> A legend tells that Columba wished to build a chapel but the walls that were built during the day were brought down during the night by the powers of darkness. Columba had a vision which showed him that the only way to build the chapel was to offer a human sacrifice. One of the brethren, Oran, offered himself and was duly buried alive. The walls of the chapel then stood firm. Columba was so sorry at the loss of his friend that three days later he uncovered the grave. He heard the voice of Oran tell him that heaven and hell were not as had been supposed! Columba had the grave hastily filled in again.