"ST ORAN'S CHAPEL" Top 5 Page for this destination Iona Things to Do Tip by mtncorg
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Lying in the middle of the Reilig Odhrain, St Oran's Chapel was built as a family burial chapel for Somerled or his son Reginald - both Lords of the Isles - back in the mid 12th century. Somerled developed a generous sized kingdom reaching from Skye to the Isle of Man. He died just as he was assembling an army to do war with Renfrew, the King of Scots, in the Clyde estuary.
Many of the grave slabs have been moved inside the chapel to protect them from further weathering. The large recess on the south wall is thought to be the tomb recess for John, the last Lord of the Isles - 1503.
St Oran was a cousin of St Columba and was, by tradition, buried alive in the grounds of the cemetery to consecrate it. They pulled him out after a few days and he was raving mad by one account. In another account, he told his rescuers that he had just seen Hell and it wasn't a bad place after all. In both accounts, poor Oran was sealed back up again.
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