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St Oran's Chapel, Iona

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St Oran's Chapel, Iona 1 September 1856

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This photograph shows the elaborate eleventh-century Norman doorway of St Oran’s Chapel on the island of Iona. The chapel was named after Oran, a convert who is said to have been buried alive in order to consecrate the ground for the building. The original monastery on Iona was built by St Columba from 563 AD as the first Christian outpost in Britain. This strong image of the arch and its shadow was taken by Thomas Keith in September 1856. Following Queen Victoria’s visit to the Hebrides in 1847, the area became popular with tourists. Travel in the region had always been "expensive, slow and troublesome", but by the mid-nineteenth century steamboat links from Oban to Glasgow and the islands made the journey quicker and more comfortable.


  • Acc. No. PGP 58.1
  • Medium Salt print from waxed paper negative
  • Size 26.70 x 24.10 cm
  • Credit Provenance unknown