Iona Cathedral, The South Isle
Photographer: Wilson, George Washington
Medium: Photographic print
"The Aisle is separated from the body of the church by plain cylindrical columns, surmounted by short capitals, and sculptured with grotesque figures which are still well defined. It is supposed to have originally constituted one or more of the small chapels which were attached to the Cathedral.
The captial of one of the pilasters under the tower represents an ox about to be sacrificed; one figure holds its head ready to be struck down by the axe, another figure holds it by the tail, and behind him is a bearded priest with his mouth wide open chanting a prayer. The first column from the tower on the south side is very much concealed, but the part of the sculpture which is visible represents the fall of Adam and Eve, and the angel with the flaming sword. The second column is almost entirely concealed; the part which is uncovered is carved with the figure of a man holding an immense beast at the end of a rope. The third column represents the crucifixion; a figure seated on a throne, with an angel weighing a man's good deeds against his bad, and one or two more illustrations from Scripture. The fourth column represents dragons and griffins in various attitudes; one seems to be combating with a bird, while their tails wind into scrolls of foliage. Also, an armed figure on horseback, couching his lance, is followed by a man on foot with a helmet and battle-axe."
Descriptive letterpress from the book 'Photographs of English and Scottish Scenery' by G W Wilson