Cnoc nan Aingeal, KKV (Iona)

Grid reference

NM 272 237 (assumed location)

Six-figure easting & northing

127200 723700





Altitude (metres)


Nearby places

Cnoc Orain, KKV (Iona) (0.25 miles)

Cill Chainnich, eccles. KKV (Iona) (0.53 miles)

Cnoc Ciarain, hill, KKV (Iona) (0.57 miles)

Teampull Ronain, KKV (Iona) (0.78 miles)

Iona, former parish, KKV (0.78 miles)

Object Classification


Is linear feature?



The NGR is assumed. The name of this hill first appears in the late seventh century, in Adomnán's Vita Columbae, where it is described as 'the peak of a little hill of the plain' (campuli colliculo). The NGR given is that of modern interpretations of the landscape. It is not certain, however, that this was the hill which Adomnán had in mind. The name does not appear on Ordnance Survey maps. VC iii, 16 tells the story of how the hill supposedly got its name, when a monk of St Columba stood on the peak of a hill (in cuiusdam monticelli cacumine) overlooking the plain and spied on the saint who was on a colliculus (a small knoll) on the western plain of the island, the machair. and saw angels descending from heaven and communing with Columba. The hill is referred to again at VC ii, 44, as the place where, during a very great drought, relics of St Columba (books written by his hand) were taken to 'colliculo angelorum' and read aloud. Cnoc nan Aingeal was visited by Thomas Pennant in his tour of Scotland. In his 'Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides' (1774) he writes: "On my return saw, on the right hand, on a small hill, a small circle of stones, and a little cairn in the middle, evidently druidical, but called the hill of the angels, Cnoc-nar-aimgeal; from a tradition that the holy man had there a conference with those celestial beings soon after his arrival. Bishop Pocock informed me, that the natives were accustomed to bring their horses to this circle at the feast of St. Michael, and to course round it. I conjecture that this custom originated from the custom of blessing the horses in the days of superstition, when the priest and the holy water pot were called in; but in later times the horses are still assembled, but the reason forgotten" (i, 259).

Relationships with other parishes

Within Kilfinichen & Kilvickeon, modern parish