North-West View of the Abbey Church, Iona Sept 1848
North west view of the Abbey on the Isle of Iona, west of the Isle of Mull in Scotland. The Abbey was founded by the Irish St Columba who arrived in Iona in exile in 563AD. St Columba built a small wooden monastery here which was rebuilt from stone in the 13th century by Reginald MacDonald of Isay. A Nunnery was also established nearby and MacDonald’s sister Beatrice became the first Prioress. The Benedictine monastery became a renowned centre for learning in Europe and in time became an Abbey. The Abbey was dissolved during the reformation of the 16th Century and the monks left, leaving the ruined buildings.