Before you reach Iona’s famous abbey you come to a smaller building, St Oran’s Chapel, which is older than the abbey. I must admit on our first visit, we went straight to the abbey, because when you are on the ferry, you watch the abbey come closer and closer, so all your thoughts are, I must get to the abbey (before anyone else). On our second visit a year later 2013, we explored the rest of the buildings and really only spent a short time in the Abbey. Its a strange Island because time seems to wiz by, no sooner have you arrived, than its time to go….. Maybe on our next visit we will spend a few days and really get to know this beautiful Island, that seems to fill everyone with such peace and goodwill. But back to this intriguing little chapel, which dates back to the years after 1150.
St Oran’s Chapel stood derelict for centuries until it was restored at the same time as the abbey, in the first part of the 1900’s. When you enter through the Norman doorway, you will find a very simple interior, expect for an elaborate tomb-recess built in the south wall of the chapel in the 1400’s. Along the north wall there stands a row of tomb slabs, that have been brought into the chapel to preserve them from the elements. I’m so glad we explored this little chapel the second time around, but you have to have the patience of a saint to take your photos and be quick about it.
From our visit 2013