Bona, former parish

Grid reference

NH 570 348 (assumed location)

Six-figure easting & northing

257000 834800







Nearby places

Killianan, settlement Inverness & Bona (0 miles)

St Columba's Font, Inverness & Bona (0.06 miles)

Killianan, eccles. Inverness & Bona (BAX) (0.14 miles)

Dores, parish (1.86 miles)

Ruighe Uradain, Inverness & Bona (2.82 miles)

Object Classification

Parish (non-extant in 1975)


NGR for the old burial-ground of Killianan, considered by NSA (1845) to be the site of hte original kirk of Bona. There is no trace of the kirk now (NMRS).

Relationships with other parishes

Within Inverness & Bona

Parish details

Bona (or Abriachan) part of Inverness & Bona BAX INB

Parish TLA


Medieval diocese


Parish notes

The church of the medieval parish of Abriachan stood at Killionan of Abriachan. It was known as Abirihacyn etc. until the 15th c., when the name Bona was adopted (RS. 330, 235; CPL xi 286; Beveridge 1923, 15). It was granted as a common church to the canons of Elgin cathedral in 1239 by Bp. Andrew, but this appears to have been ineffective. It remained instead an independent parsonage within the patronage of the bishops of Moray. Mor. Reg. no.41; see Cowan 1967 [Medieval Parishes], 19-20 for more details and references. The late-nineteenth century local antiquarian William Mackay was convinced that the saint in the name [Killionan] is Adomnán. In the adjacent parish of Urquhart (now Urquhart and Glenmoriston) a ‘Crofta Sancti Adampnani’ is mentioned in 1556. This appears in a document of 1647 as Croft Indon, and is Mackay’s chief reason for his assertion that Killionan (‘now pronounced ‘Eonan’’) contains this saint’s name. {2} [W. Mackay, Urquhart and Glenmoriston (Inverness, 1893), 116, where the source is given as W. Fraser, The Chiefs of Grant, 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 1883) iii, 121-4; see also Mackay, Urquhart, 335.] Watson, on the other hand, is convinced that the saint involved is Fínán (Watson, Celtic Place-Names, 286), and Mackay and he politely but firmly disagreed on the subject at Mackay’s talk to the Gaelic Society of Inverness in April 1909. {2} [See Mackay, ‘Saints associated with the valley of the Ness’, 155, 160 and 162.] An entry in Moray Reg. no.403 from 1544 seems to prove Mackay wrong. It concerns the feuing to Hugh Fraser, Lord Lovat of the episcopal lands of Easter and Wester Kinmylies (Kilmyles), Balnafare, Easter and Wester Abriachan (Abreoquhy), Kilquhynnane, along with the mill of Bught (Bucht) and fishing on the River Ness. Given the fact that all these places which can be identified are within the modern parish of Inverness and Bona, on the west bank of the Ness, and juxtaposed as it is in this list with Abriachan, it is safe to assume that Kilquhynnane represents the later Killionan of Abriachan. Whether quh represents an original lenited c, or whether it is being used, as was often the case in Scots orthography, to represent f, which latter would prove Watson correct, it certainly rules out Adomnán as the saint contained in this name. (Taylor 1997, 66-7).