Marble Quarry

The Iona Marble Quarry is situated in a small inlet on the south east of the island and has a very long history. It may have been worked as early as 1745 by the Earl of Breadalbane when he founded the Marble and Slate Company of Netherlorn.

The quarry was first officially opened in the late 1700s by the Duke of Argyll but did not operate for long because the marble was difficult to extract and transport was uneconomical.

There was a failed enterprise by the Argyll Quarry Company in the 1800s, which hoped to extract the stone and ship it from the island on an industrial scale. The remote and rocky location proved too hazardous for shipping.

However a final attempt was made and the quarry reopened again in 1907 and closed for the last time at the end of World War I.

Today all that remains in the small inlet are the very rusted remains of a large winch and cable, a cutting frame, water tank, gas engine, wheeled platform and white cut stone blocks. These are listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The path to the Marble Quarry can be very boggy underfoot and often is nothing more than an indistinct sheep track.

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Marble Quarry Iona

Marble Quarry Iona

Marble Quarry Iona

Map of South Iona

 

Marble Quarry Iona

Marble Quarry Iona