Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
Kilfinichen And Kilvickeon
NM 28683 24515
128683, 724515


Transitional and Gothic. Rubble. Slated roofs.

CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. MARY: Cruciform. Nave: earlier

13th cent. (widened c. 1500). N. Transept: later 12th

cent. S. Transept: c. 1500. Tower over Crossing: rebuilt

c. 1500. Chancel, with Sacristy and S. Aisle: c. 1500.

Corbelled parapets. Buttresses. Base course. Traceried

windows. Pointed W. doorway (c. 1500). Interior: Timber

ceilings. Cusped Sacristy doorway and two pointed arches

on N. side of Chancel. Piscina. Sedilia. Effigies of

Abbots Mackinnon and Mackenzie and of 8th Duke of Argyll.

CONVENTUAL BUILDINGS: Earlier 13th cent. Cloister

(pointed arches). Chapter House (barrel vault; two round

arches; traceried windows) Refectory. Abbot's House.

Infirmary (now Michael Chapel). Old Refectory (now Museum).

ST. COLUMBA'S CELL: Celtic (?). Remains on Tor Abb.

Statement of Special Interest

A group with items 18-24In ecclesiastical use. St. Columba established a monasteryhere 563. Norsemen raided it many times between 797 and 1069.Reginald Macdonald, Lord of Kintyre, founded a house ofBenedictine Monks on same site. (Papal Confirmation 1203). Itwas attached to Bishopric of the Isles 1507. (Church becoming Cathedral). Pillaged 1561 on order of Synod of Argyll.Bestowed on Hector Maclean of Duart 1588. Passed to Earlof Argyll 1688. Presented to Church of Scotland by 8thDuke of Argyll 1899. Church was restored 1902-10 byP.M. Chalmer. Restoration of conventual buildings beganin 1939.

The ground beneath Iona Abbey is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 for its archaeological importance. Significant upstanding and below-ground archaeological remains may survive as part of and in addition to the structures and features described above.



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 21664

Old Statistical Account (1791-99) Kilfinchen and Kilviceuen, County of Argyle, Vol 14. p.198.

New Statistical Account (1834-45) Kilfinchen and Kilviceuen, County of Argyle, Vol. 7. p.305.

Macgibbon, D. & Ross, T. (1896-7) The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland, Vol 3. Edinburgh: D. Douglas. p. 47-75.

Groom, F.H. (1901) Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland. Edinburgh: T.C.& E.C.Jack.

Lindsay, I. G. (1926) The Cathedrals of Scotland. London: W&R Chambers. p.164-178.

Coltart, J. S. (1936) Scottish Church Architecture. London: Sheldon Press. p.235-9.

Easson, D. E. (ed) ( 1976) Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland. London: Prentice Hall Press. p. 52.

Royal Commision on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, (1982) Inventory of monuments and Contructions. Iona. London: His Majesty's Stationary Office.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Iona Abbey

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Related Designations

  1. St Mary's Abbey, Iona, monastic settlementSM12968

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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