Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


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

Find out more

Related Designations

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

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to IONA ABBEY

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 30/05/2024 03:38