Ancient Monuments

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Iona Marble Quarry, quarry north east of An t-Aird

A Scheduled Monument in Oban South and the Isles, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.3101 / 56°18'36"N

Longitude: -6.4182 / 6°25'5"W

OS Eastings: 126853

OS Northings: 721850

OS Grid: NM268218

Mapcode National: GBR BDJ1.BZ6

Mapcode Global: WGYD7.CNZG

Entry Name: Iona Marble Quarry, quarry NE of An t-Aird

Scheduled Date: 9 March 1992

Last Amended: 23 April 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5255

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: mines, quarries; Secular: domestic buildings

Location: Kilfinichen and Kilvickeon

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument consists of the remains of a marble quarry and of its associated equipment and buildings. When first scheduled in 1992, it was wrongly located on the map. This re-scheduling corrects that error. The remains include a stone saw, gas engine, gas producer, countershaft, hand crane of derrick type, rail trolleys, water tank and quay, together with waste heaps. The cutting saw and some other of the machinery is known to have stood within a building when the quarry was in production.

In the SE of the area there are various mortared wall fragments and metal fixings set into these and into rock outcrops, which appear to have been connected with the derrick crane on the quay. The quarry stands in a ravine, both sides of which appear to have been worked for marble.

At the N end of the area, further up the ravine in which the quarry lies, stand the remains of two buildings. One, of stone-built rubble construction, is known in Gaelic as 'the ruined house of the lowlanders'.

It appears to have been used by quarrymen active in the late 18th century. Close by are the stone and concrete footings of a later building, thought to be contemporary with the use of the quarry during the early 20th century. It is said that this acted as a bunkhouse for the quarrymen and that the metal superstructure survives in use, having been moved to Baile Mor. The main period of use of the quarry lasted from 1905 to 1914, since when marble has not been quarried on Iona on an extensive scale.

The scheduled area is irregular in shape, measuring approximately 215m N-S by a maximum of 80m E-W. This includes the quarry and its worked faces, the surviving machinery, and an area where evidence may survive of earlier working, and in which evidence relating to the use of the quarry may survive. This area is shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the only known quarry of early 20th century date still retaining original stoneworking and handling equipment. Marble quarrying is rare in Scotland, but Iona was briefly celebrated for it. The seam of marble has been known for many centuries, and the visible remains may conceal evidence of working of the medieval or earlier period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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