Michael Chapel – Iona

Michael Chapel – Iona

The Michael Chapel was erected by the builders of the 11th century Iona Abbey as a place to worship whilst the existing church was being demolished to make way for a new one on the site.  It is sited to the east of the east range of the Abbey.  It had new windows inserted in the 1500s, but, apart from this, is exactly as it was built in the early 1200s.

There is no great age to its name, but a 16th century record of a burial aisle dedicated to St Michael may be related to the building.

Like the rest of Iona Abbey, the chapel became derelict following the Reformation of 1560.  It was one of the last buildings to be restored by the Iona Community and was completed in 1959.  The work was financed largely by donations from Africa, and most of the furniture and the beautifully curved ceiling are constructed from African wood.

Today the chapel remains a place of worship, providing a space that is considerably more intimate than the Abbey Church itself.

                        Grid Reference MN 287 245