"Iona, island, quoad sacra par., and vil., with pier, Kilfinichen and Kilvickeon par., Inner Hebrides, Argyllshire - island (3½ miles by 1½ mile), 8 miles S. of Staffa and off SW. coast of Mull, from which it is separated by the Sound of Iona, about 1 mile wide, pop. 243; quoad sacra par. (including part of Mull), pop. 713; vil., on E. side of island, 6 miles W. of Bunessan; P.O. Iona is also called "Icolmkill," or simply "I." It derives its interest wholly from its ancient ecclesiastical remains, popularly attributed to St Columba, who landed at Iona in 563, and erected a monastery; this, from 795 to 986, was exposed to the ravages of the Danes. A new monastery, as well as a nunnery, was founded by the Benedictines in 1203, and the remains are chiefly of that date. They consist of the cathedral church of St Mary, the nunnery, several small chapels, a building called the Bishop's House, and 2 fine crosses (St Martin's and Maclean's). The chapel of St Oran is supposed to date from the 11th century; the burying-ground attached to it, said to contain the remains of many Scottish, four Irish, and eight Norwegian kings, possesses a great number of monumental stones. The ruins were repaired and partially restored by the Duke of Argyll (the proprietor of the island) in 1874-5."
Extract from John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887
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Year Population 1881 713 1891 646