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The Celtic monastery at Iona was founded by Columba,  and 12 disciples in 563, after, according to some, he self-exiled from Ireland following his involvement in a battle. Having been educated by the best, Columcille ('church dove') and his followers went on create a educational establishment par excellence from where missons went out to the Scots, Picts and Angles. The Book of Kells is said to have been written here and it was from here that Aidan was invited by the king to Northumbria to establish the monastery at Lindisfarne. Many miracles were attributed to Columba, one of the more interesting being the banishment of 'a ferocious water beast' to the depths of Loch Ness for killing a Pict and attacking one of his disciples. For more on Iona read here.

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