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A Hebridean Island

The harbour at Canna

Canna harbour with compass hill in the background.

The Nunnery on Canna


Canna has always had a close relationship with the church dating back to the dark ages. There was at one time a nunnery nestling beneath steep cliffs on the western half of Canna was sacked by the Vikings and remains of it can still be seen.




Early Christian cross on Canna

Reverse side of Cross



Behind the main  collection of houses, there is an early Christian cross, given some relationship with Columba.  Canna was a source of grain and foodstuffs to the Ionian community owing to the very rich soil and mild climate making for good agriculture.





Fields on Canna


Today the island remains Catholic, this is a beautiful glass Madonna which overlooks the bridge between the two islands of Canna and Sandray.


Canna church windowChurch window Canna



The old Catholic church has now been taken over as part of the Gaelic scholastic effort on the island.  A replacement in an old barn has been made, much supported by local fishing families.





Basalt cliffs cannaBasalt columns Canna




Canna is chiefly made from Triassic basalt, which when it breaks down forms the wonderful fertile soil. Where it remains it forms long lines of cliffs with some fascinating columnar formations and stacs.






An Coroghon - Canna


Some of the formations have been put to good use. In this image the tower to the left was used by an ancient owner of the island to imprison his wife, who had apparently been up to no good with one of the MacDonald's of Skye!





Guests on cannaCanna cliffs


There is a puffin colony on the southern island - Sandray - but along with the kittiwakes that used to nest there in big numbers, nowadays the puffins are becoming more scarce.





But the magic of Canna is not with its isolation, but with the people and the "softness" of the island that so many visitors mention

Mist - Canna harbour


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    2016 Website David Leaver Northern Wanderer.   Images David Leaver