If you have limited time on Iona and have limited energy or mobility this is a super spot to spend a little time in. There are several benches in sheltered sunny spots in the wild gardens that were once the cloister for the Nunnery. This well-preserved ruin of a medieval Augustinian nunnery is built from the local pink granite that was mined just over the Sound of Iona at Tor Mhor quarry. If you are lucky enough to be staying on Iona on a sunny evening the rock shines with a pinky orange glow as the sun sets.
The Nunnery was founded in 1200 and the community thrived for 350 years until the Reformation when it went into decline although it continued to be a burial place for women on the Island. During their active time the Nuns supported themselves financially by income from Nunnery lands both on Iona and Mull. Despite following a strict round of prayer and services the nuns were not a closed order and had daily contact with the local community.
Some delicate carving can still be seen on the road side wall of the ruin called a Sile na Cioch pronounced (Sheela na Gig); it is perhaps a surprising image for a religious building but was in that time a symbol to ward off evil.