Effigy at Oronsay Priory, Scotland


This photograph, taken in the first half of the 20th century by M.E.M. Donaldson, shows a tapered effigy grave slab of an armoured man, a funerary monument dating to 14th or 15th century. The slab is set into the wall of Oronsay Priory, the ruins of which stand at the west end of the island. The Augustinian priory was founded in the 14th century by John I, Lord of the Isles, but was in a ruinous state by the early 17th century.
Source: am baile

This illustration was taken from 'A Tour in Scotland' by Thomas Pennant, but not found in this edition.
It shows tombs in Oransay Monastery. Built by the the Augustinians in the early fourteenth century, it became a significant religious centre for Argyll and the Islands. It was founded by John I, Lord of the Isles, between 1325 and 1353 and measures fifty-nine feet by eighteen.

The tombs are those of ancient islanders, two of which represent warriors, measuring seven feet long. The remaining tombs are those of lesser heroes, priests and females. Beside them is a stone figure in full size believed to be that of an abbess. Source: Am Baile



Tombstone in the Chappel at Oransay drawn by James Miller after a sketch taken in 1772. One of a number of distinctive Celtic tomb slabs at Oronsay Priory. Oronsay is a small Hebridian Island close to Colonsay. It has a ruined medieval Augustinian priory. This relief is of a soldier in full armour with sword. His head rests on a pillow decorated with an angel and a figure at prayer. There are also several figures at his foot.
British Library Additional MS 15509 f.55


A gallóglaich from Armies of Feudal Europe 1066-1300 by Ian Heath, based on the Oronsay Priory effigy



See also:
The tomb of Felim O'Connor (d.1265) at the Dominican Priory of St Mary, County Roscommon, Ireland
Effigy of Bricius MacFingone, Iona, late 15th century
Four Effigies of armoured warriors from Iona
Effigy of a Burke Gallóglaich, Ballynakill Church, Glinsk, County Galway, Ireland, late-14th century
Gallóglaich, 14th-15th Centuries by Ian Heath
Effigy at Iona of Roderick, 7th Chief of the MacLeods of Lewis (d. c.1498)

Clothing of the Ancient Celts: A Guide to Celtic Costume by M. E. Riley
Illuminations from the 14th century collection of Icelandic sagas, the Flateyjarbók
Other 14th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers