Scheduled Monument

Iona Marble Quarry, quarry NE of An t-AirdSM5255

Status: Designated


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The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Industrial: marine; mines, quarries, Secular: domestic buildings
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Kilfinichen And Kilvickeon
NM 26853 21850
126853, 721850


The monument consists of the remains of a marble quarry and of its associated equipment and buildings. When first scheduled in 1992, it was wrongly located on the map. This re-scheduling corrects that error. The remains include a stone saw, gas engine, gas producer, countershaft, hand crane of derrick type, rail trolleys, water tank and quay, together with waste heaps. The cutting saw and some other of the machinery is known to have stood within a building when the quarry was in production.

In the SE of the area there are various mortared wall fragments and metal fixings set into these and into rock outcrops, which appear to have been connected with the derrick crane on the quay. The quarry stands in a ravine, both sides of which appear to have been worked for marble.

At the N end of the area, further up the ravine in which the quarry lies, stand the remains of two buildings. One, of stone-built rubble construction, is known in Gaelic as 'the ruined house of the lowlanders'.

It appears to have been used by quarrymen active in the late 18th century. Close by are the stone and concrete footings of a later building, thought to be contemporary with the use of the quarry during the early 20th century. It is said that this acted as a bunkhouse for the quarrymen and that the metal superstructure survives in use, having been moved to Baile Mor. The main period of use of the quarry lasted from 1905 to 1914, since when marble has not been quarried on Iona on an extensive scale.

The scheduled area is irregular in shape, measuring approximately 215m N-S by a maximum of 80m E-W. This includes the quarry and its worked faces, the surviving machinery, and an area where evidence may survive of earlier working, and in which evidence relating to the use of the quarry may survive. This area is shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the only known quarry of early 20th century date still retaining original stoneworking and handling equipment. Marble quarrying is rare in Scotland, but Iona was briefly celebrated for it. The seam of marble has been known for many centuries, and the visible remains may conceal evidence of working of the medieval or earlier period.



No Bibliography entries for this designation

About Scheduled Monuments

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.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

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


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Printed: 06/12/2022 19:45