WesternIslesORONSAYOronsayPriory(oddwelliesCC-BY2.0)1 OddWellies

Oronsay Priory

When the tide is favourable you can easily cross The Strand to Oronsay and walk the two and a half miles to the farm and Priory.

Oronsay, Western Isles

Opening times

Always accessible.


Western Isles
PA61 7YS

The grounds of the priory as well as the farm buildings and cottage are all in an immaculate state.

It is said that St Columba (521-597) visited Oronsay to establish a monastery, leaving it for Iona when he realised he could still see Ireland from the island.

Oronsay Priory was founded by the Augustinians in the early 14th century and became an important religious centre for the islands and Argyll over the next two hundred years. Dedicated to St Oran, the presence of the Priory gave Oronsay much influence during the time when the Lordship of the Isles was an important political factor in Scottish history.

Within the Priory site are two crosses. The great cross was carved according to the school of Iona by Mael-Sechlainn O Guind and has a resemblance with the Kilchoman Cross on Islay.

Soon after 1500, Canon Celestinus of Oronsay had directed restoration work on the Priory, including rebuilding the cloister, it was Malcolm MacDuffie who had commissioned the Great Cross. It is believed that the little cross could be centuries older than the great cross.

There are many grave slabs in the Priors House at the back of the priory. These include some quite remarkable tombs and effigies, most dating from 1500 to 1560 and two superb effigies of MacDuffie chiefs.

Make sure to take the time for your visit, to enjoy the silence, listen to the singing birds and peacocks calling and let yourself be transferred to earlier times when Augustinian Monks lived, prayed and worked here.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Social heritage stories

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • On street parking at church

  • Parking within 250m

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Other

Other nearby churches

Iona Abbey

Iona, Western Isles

This tiny island by Mull has been a vibrant centre of Christian worship ever since St Columba arrived in AD 563.