Anna of Iona : A Carved Identities project

Anna of Iona : A Carved Identities project

On 12th April 2012, girls from Ross of Mull and Tobermory Brownie units had the chance to give an on-site presentation to professional archaeologists, historians and experts from both the UK and abroad as part of a research conference taking place on Iona.

The girls took delegates round the nunnery on Iona, impressing them with their knowledge and confidence, and told them about the Carved Identities project they had taken part in – Anna of Iona.

This was the culmination of a Carved Identities project run by Historic Scotland’s Learning Services, which aimed to encourage young people to explore and celebrate the carved stone heritage of Iona.. The focus of the project was Iona nunnery and the carved graveslab of Anna McLean, housed at Iona Abbey, which is one of the few carvings of an abbess surviving in Scotland.

The girls found out about Anna and life in a nunnery by undertaking activities from a resource pack produced for the project.

The Brownies, plus Rainbow Guides from Tobermory and Ross of Mull, came together to visit Iona in September 2011, which was facilitated by local storyteller Jan Sutch Pickard, who brought the nunnery to life through her interactive story. The girls also visited the graveslab and made sketches of Anna to take away.

Back at their meeting places the girls then made textile collages of their interpretation of Anna McLean, and created acrostic poems about the abbess with Jan.

The results of the project, along with photographs from the trip, are now on display in St Ronans Chapel, Iona, until 30th April, and the exhibition will then move to Ross of Mull Historical Centre on 18th May, and then travel to Tobermory in June (dates and location to be confirmed)

Quotes from the girls :

Alana and Morven

We went to Iona and did a guided tour of the nunnery and worked together to tell the visitors about the church and the sewing room. We were successful on getting the information across to the people.

Chloe and Sakshi

We did a talk together about the refectory. We talked about how the nuns had to eat in silence and they used to pick some herbs for healing people. We enjoyed seeing our pictures on display. There were lots of people there.

Daisy and Page

On the 12th of April the Brownies went to Iona to go to the nunnery to do a tour of the nunnery. Daisy was interviewed by BBC Alba. Our favourite thing was speaking about the dormitory.

Quote from leader:

Sue Penny, Leader with Tobermory Brownies: “it’s been great to see how much the girls have taken from it, and how it has fired their imagination”.