Do you share your name with our beautiful island? Or maybe you chose to name your daughter Iona? Is your company, town or school called Iona? If so, we’d love to hear from you.
We at the Iona Village Hall Community Trust are reaching out across the world to find people and places who share our name and who were inspired by the Isle of Iona.
We are just over halfway towards our £2.2 million fundraising target to build our new Village Hall. It’s going to be a new focal point, a beating heart of the wonderful community of Iona. And we want Ionas from all over the world to be a part of it.
We aim to gather together a list of Ionas from around the world to have their names featured within the new Hall in return for a donation towards the project.
Choose your level:
If you are interested in an alternative dedication or sponsoring a specific part of the project, please get in touch.
Some facts about ‘our’ Iona
Located in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland, the island is 1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long with less than 170 year-round residents.
The tourist season is between March and October, with over 100,000 visitors each year.
It takes 2 ferry journeys and an hour’s drive across the neighbouring Isle of Mull to get to the mainland.
The doctor visits the island one morning a week. Expectant mothers must leave the island 2 weeks before their due date. However, if they give birth on the ferry the child is given free ferry travel for life.
When the children are 11 or 12 they have to attend secondary school on the mainland where they board from Monday to Friday.
There is an 18-hole golf course on the machair where the main hazards are cows and sheep. The Iona Open golf championship is held every August. If you sailed west from the golf course, the next piece of land you would hit would be Newfoundland, Canada.
“My favourite thing is you knowing everyone and everyone says hello to you. My worst is getting up at 5am for the ferry for school on the mainland!” Freya, age 12
“My favourite thing is talking to the highland cows on the way home.” Ula, age 9
My favourite thing about Iona is knowing lots of older people with interesting stories and my least favourite is mink attacks on our farm.” Jamie, age 9
St Columba landed on the island in 563 AD and established a monastery, which became famous throughout Europe as a place of literacy learning and pilgrimage. The Book of Kells is thought to have been started here.
After many years of destructive Viking raids, a Benedictine Abbey was built on this site around 1200 AD. Known as Iona Abbey, this was rebuilt and fully restored in the early 20th Century.
The Abbey graveyard is believed to be the burial site of up to 48 Scottish kings (including the real Macbeth).
Between 1841 and 1861, many people from Iona emigrated to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.
The island, with its unique light and landscape, has been a favourite subject matter of artists like the celebrated Scottish Colourists.
Marble was quarried on Iona until the early 20th Century and can be found in churches in London, Paris, Adelaide and Jerusalem.
The island is primarily composed of Lewisian Gneiss which at 3 billion years old is one of the oldest rocks in the world.