Iona

Hii, Hy
Gaelic: Innisnam Druidbneach

A tiny island, 3½ miles long by 1½ miles wide in the Inner Hebrides, which was a pagan stronghold for centuries before the Christians arrived and claimed it as their own. Columba landed there on May 563 and quickly set about establishing his famous monastery, the Iona Abbey.

The island’s Gaelic name is Innisnam Druidbneach, which translates as ‘Island of the Druids’, reflecting its long Celtic history. However, within a century of the landing of Saint Columba, Iona was pre-eminently Christian.