Oronsay Priory

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View from inside the priory across to Jura
Oronsay Priory, after some renovation.

Oronsay Priory was a monastery of canons regular on the island of Oronsay, Inner Hebrides, Argyll, off the coast of Scotland. It was in existence by 1353, perhaps founded by John of Islay, Lord of the Isles. It was dedicated to St. Columba, and perhaps was a continuation or a re-activation of an older foundation. Very little is known about it because of the absence of records and its remoteness from the Scottish Lowlands, but on occasions some of the Priors of Oronsay come into the records.

The priory continued in operation until at least 1560, the year of the Scottish Reformation, with the last known prior, Robert Lamont, having been elected in 1555. The lands and property of the priory were given in commendam to Maol Choluim MacDubhthaich in 1561. They were later given to the Bishop of the Isles by King James VI of Scotland after his ascendancy to the throne in 1583.

The ruins have been restored and are visible today.

See also[edit]

 The cloisters of Oronsay Priory
The cloisters of Oronsay Priory.
Tombstones in Oronsay Priory--one can see the figure of a canon, wearing the rochet proper to a canon regular, on the second image from the left

Bibliography[edit]

  • Cowan, Ian B. & Easson, David E., Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland With an Appendix on the Houses in the Isle of Man, Second Edition, (London, 1976), p. 76
  • Watt, D.E.R. & Shead, N.F. (eds.), The Heads of Religious Houses in Scotland from the 12th to the 16th Centuries, The Scottish Records Society, New Series, Volume 24, (Edinburgh, 2001), pp. 165–7