The early medieval monastery of Iona, Argyll & Bute was founded AD 563, and remains to many an icon of the ‘Celtic’ church. Yet Iona is more than about its famous founder St Columba, and even the medieval Benedictine abbey (founded 1203) rests on a 600-year legacy of learning, innovation and pilgrimage.
Thanks to the survival of primary texts produced here, along with an unparalleled survival of archaeological remains, carved stones and Gaelic place-names, the entire island is a rich resource for archaeologists and historians. More than a missionary outpost in the sea, Iona has played a key role in the shaping of Christianity itself.
Because of its great influence in the medieval period and continued fame today, there are various groups, stakeholders and researchers with an interest in Iona. The Iona Research Group aims to capture a sense of the breadth of work done on Iona and ways to direct this toward strategic and sustainable heritage outcomes.