Eilean Fhianain - The mysterious Celtic Funeral Island


To tell the truth, I wanted to see this island by all means and so I lured my whole family to Acharacle. In my Scotland-stories after all the notorious Finnegan McDudle shows up on this island for the first time. The rest is (hi)stories.



Calum Cille,  St. Columba, takes a very special part in Scottish history.

The island of Eilean Fhianain in Loch Shiel which he once visited, to this day is said to be a Celtic funeral island.

For our first attempt to get to this island, we take a walk. At Dalelia we turn right to the pier. Unfortunately we do not find anyone to rent us a boat.

DaleliaOld Manse

Rough country but we get closer to the island.

This building has seen better days.

And then we see it: Eilean Fhianain.

Wind and current are too strong today to swim to the island.

Eilean Fhionnain

Celtic Crosses

Celtic crosses, almost within reach, but nowhere a boat for rent.

Disappointed, we return home but a few days later a lucky chance is on our side. 

Mr. Peake, our neighbour and working in the tourist sector, one evening rings up to ask if he shall take us to the island.

Some days ago I told him how I yearned to get to this island. So of course we agree and next day start from the pier of Acharacle in his boat.

Nick Peake

DIE  Insel

After an hour we are there. The Loch has a good many shallows and we often can see the lake ground.

Eilean Fhianain, also called St. Finnan's Island or Green Isle.


Eilean Fhionnain

Celtic Crosses

This cross can hardly be made out under the moss.

 What a treasure of old Celtic graves!

Celtic Cross

St. Columba was here

Partly badly damaged by wind and weather.

Right side in the grass lies the top of a cross.

Other Celtic crosses are well preserved.

By the way, the local church takes care of this graveyard.



Sometimes you hardly can recognize what it is.

The highest point of the island: St. Finan's Chapel

St. Finan's Chapel

St. Finan's Chapel close

The altar of the chapel; the heavy bell is secured by a chain.

Proudly this Celtic Cross towers into the Scottish sky.

Big Cross


Old Roundcross

A stone plate cannot be deciphered, the inscription is gone.









This chapel is much older than the cross in it.


Large Grave

Old grave frames, obviously re-erected only recently.

Many inscription are too weatherd to read them so that there is no knowing the dates.

Old Groundcross

Large Cross

This certainly is one of the most fascinating graveyards of the world.

Hardly recognizable as a cross.

Very Old Cross

Das wars

Soon Mr. Peake with his boat is back and we cannot help but leaving this island.

For a long time we look back until it disappears behind a bend in Loch Shiel.

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