The Celtic Church in Scotland

The Celtic Church in Scotland

St. Ninian, Apostle to the Picts of Scotland, only started his work there after many years of training on the Continent. Before the fourth century an education at Rome and at Tours would have been out of the question for an ardent young British Christian. But with Christianity the official religion of the Empire, there was much more movement within the many of the secular bishops of Gaul, living luxuriously and securely behind their city walls, during the twenty-six years in which they watched St. Martin and his monks win rural Gaul for Christ. But his friends were legion. They ranged from downtrodden hares and snakes to the highest nobles in the land.

Small wonder that St. Ninian felt impelled to stay and study for a while under St. Martin on his way back from Rome. By that time he had passed through the ranks of deacon and presbyter and had been consecrated a bishop by the bishop of Rome himself. With his classical education behind him he must have enjoyed the company of his fellow guest, the cultured Gallo-Roman, Sulpicius Severus, already at work on the enchanting Life of St. Martin that was to ensure his master becoming one of the most revered of Western saints.

St. Martin died in 397. When the news was brought to St. Ninian he had reached Scotland (the name Scotland came later on, it was referred to as Pictland, Caledonia or Alba) and had begun to organize the building of Candida Casa, with its training college for British and Pictish missionaries and its school for the boys and girls of neighbouring chiefs. Because this first community in Scotland owed so much to Marmoutier, St. Ninian called his little church after its real founder, St. Martin. During the next thity-five years, while the Teutonic invaders overrun Gaul, while the Romans retreated from Britain and while Rome herself fell, the monks of Candida Casa were at work planting a chain of Christian settlements. At Glasgow and near Stirling they planted them, and at Arbirlot, Dunottar, Methlick and right up the east coast to Navidale in Sutherland. There are even traces of an island settlement at Temple on Loch Ness. All the little Pictish churches they built bore the name of their British founder Ninian.

As we have already noted, the Chi-Rho monogram, made from the first two Greek letters of Christ’s name, had been carried all over the Empire on Constantine’s banner. Its Eastern form, in which the Rho is open, is to be found incised on stones connected with St. Martin’s foundations in Southern Gaul, and St. Ninian carried that form of the symbol to Scotland, where it can be seen, carved in relief and surrounded by the ring of glory, on sixth-century stones at his settlement at Kirkmadrine near Candida Casa. In time it developed into the equal-armed, wheeled cross which is so marked a feature of Pictish Christianity.

The Scots of Dalriada in Ireland had begun sending immigrants to Scotland at the end of the fifth century. They settled to the west of Drumalban, the great mountain barrier running north from Ben Lomond to Ben Hope, and it was they who delighted to make those tall, upright crosses whose short arms always project beyond the ring of glory and which, adorned with beautifully and intricately carved inter-lacings, we more often associate with Celtic Christianity than the Pictish variety. The Pictish crosses, however, are equally lovely, but here the marvellous designs and serpentine beasts are usually carved on recumbent slabs. When an upright Pictish cross is found it is equal-armed and stands on a separately designed pedestal.

Through the geographical position of their respective countries the Picts and Scots were the only two branches of the Celtic race the Romans failed to conquer. But though, when St. Ninian reached Galloway, no Roman had been able to settle so much as a garrison north of Hadrian’s wall for two hundred years, trade had naturally continued between those living north and south of the wall; with the result that educated Picts and Britons in Galloway could still write Latin and had Latinized names; while farther north, at least the Pictish overlord and his chiefs probably understood a few words of it. Indeed there can have been little or no language barrier between St. Ninian and his converts as the Pictish dialect differed far less from the British than from the Scotic. Nor does he appear to have met with active antagonism from a people who had turned the tables on the Roman intruders and driven them forcibly farther and farther south. The truth is, that though they excelled in battle, the Picts were an intelligent pastoral people to whom the message of the gospel, as lived by St. Ninian and his monks, appealed so strongly that the highest development of their artistic culture is seen to coincide with the ascendancy, from the fifth to the ninth century, of the monastic Celtic Church.

The introduction to Scotland by St. Ninian of those Christian qualities of mercy, charity and tenderness, did far more than curb the aggressive violence, selfishness and immorality too often prevalent in a nation composed of rival clans. In those who tried to live the gospel there was released a tremendous creative drive that expressed itself for the next four centuries in the beauty of all they did and made for the love of God.

St. Ninian’s cave, on the Glasserton shore, is therefore a very holy place. It is far enough apart from Candida Casa to ensure respite for the papa of so large a community of Picts and Britons. There, at intervals, he gathered the spiritual strength needed for the materialization of his plan for the conquest of Alba of the Picts for Christ. Because he chose to follow the ancient route trodden by Roman legions it has been suggested that St. Ninian sought to bring Scotland into the Empire. If he did so, he was cheated of success by the fact that the Empire vanished within the first fifteen years of his mission. But where the might of Rome had failed, his strange soldiers succeeded. They marched up the east coast clad in undyed woollen cassocks with pointed hoods, their feet shod with sandals. They tramped along with short, stout, bachalls or staffs with flat tops like walking-sticks, and they were armed with the gospels and psalters copied by the scribes among them in their little cells at candida Casa. These precious books they carried slung from their shoulders in leather wallets often beautifully adorned with interlacing. In the British Church of Wales and Cornwall the Old Latin version of the Bible continued long in use; but there is good reason to believe that among the books that formed the nucleus of Candida Casa’s wonderful library, was a copy of at least part of the Vulgate – the latest Latin translation of the Bible by St. Jerome – brought to Scotland by St. Ninian. If this be true, the words of the psalms his monks sang as they strode along – and they were always singing – were the very same words as those still sung by monks of the Roman Church. St. Hilary’s glorious Te Deum must have been a favourite hymn for that army of craftsmen with their tools, farmers with their ploughs and their seed, and priests carrying lovely silver and gold chalices for the future churches. Their preparation for the battle had consisted in strenuous prayer and fasting, and the result of their labours in Scotland was that long chain of Christian communities each with its church, its monastic school, and its bishop (consecrated by St. Ninian), who lived under the authority of the elected papa or abbot. For hundreds of years these little islands of light continued to minister to the people and to look for help and advice to the mother church at Candida Casa.

St. Ternan, third abbot of Candida Casa, was one of those Picts converted by St. Ninian’s mission to the east coast of Scotland. He was baptized in Aberdeenshire by St. Ninian’s British helper Paul, who, after working there and in Perthshire, went back to the South Britons of Wales where, in the White House he found in Carmarthenshire (now known as Whitland Abbey), he taught St. David. By that time he was known as Paul the Aged. The word Bangor or Banchory seems to have meant a monastic settlement with the usual facilities for education, and containing enough monks to allow of a service of perpetual praise. Traces of St. Ternan as an eminent fifth-century papa in Aberdeenshire can be seen in the name Banchory-Ternan.

Well before the end of the fifth century Irish pupils of Candida Casa and those of the daughter house at Nendrun, on Strangforth Lough, had realized the importance of the Scottish mission and were augmenting the number of Brito-Pictish monks at work in the north-east.

At the beginning of the sixth century two Irishmen, St. Colm, from Nendrum, and his friend St. Fillan, succeeded in founding Christian communities all along the Forth valley despite the proximity of the Angles. The village of St. Fillan’s, however, at the east end of Loch Earn, in Perthshire, marks the site of his chief monastery. Documentary evidence of the lives of these early saints is so scanty that it is through such remains as equal-armed crosses and through sites bearing their names that we know when and where they worked. So few personal touches remain to make them live again that it seems little short of miraculous that St. Fillan’s staff can still be seen and handled.

He and St. Colm must have known St. Serf, who settled about then at Culross in Fife. The group of sites in south-west Scotland bearing St. Serf’s name point to his having been educated at Candida Casa, as does also the fact that, like St. Ninian, he had a retreat. It is known to this day as Dysart, a corruption of the Latin word for desert, and reminds us how closely linked these men were to St. Anthony and the barren lands of Egypt. Something of the charm of St. Serf comes down to us in stories of his tame robin. St. Ninian’s well-known affection for his horse and his flocks is but one example of the kinship felt by all these outdoor saints for the birds and beasts among their converts.

St. Serf kept in touch with St. Drostan of Deer, in Aberdeenshire, a Briton who, with his three helpers, greatly increased the number of churches south of the Moray Firth. Later they crossed it and worked among Pictish tribes in the far north. They penetrated so far north, in fact, that one of the three helpers was known as “Colm, bishop in the Orkneys”.

During the first decades of the sixth century, too, St. Gildas and St. Cadoc still worked among the Britons of Strathclyde. Gildas certainly knew Candida Casa, where he may well have met his great contemporary, St. Finbar, from Ireland, who, fired by his training and years of teaching there, set off on a tremendous missionary journey, following in St. Ninian’s footsteps. The northernmost of his churches was at Dornoch in Sutherland. As a boy, St. Finbar had originally sailed from his school at Nendrum in one of the Candida Casa ships to complete his training in the mother house, so he felt bond at last to return to his native Ireland, where, quite close to Nendrum, he founded Moville. All the great saints of Ireland became his friends, St. Columba among them, and it was St. Finbar who inspired his neighbour, St. Comgall of Bangor, in Ulster, to send across the water band after band of monks to continue the good work started by St. Ninian.

This was providential as, during the sixth century, Candida Casa herself became more and more cut off by Angles now settling all over the Lowlands. For a short time she even suffered a total eclipse when the Angles reached the monastery, plundered and burnt it, and scattered those priests who escaped alive. Even in St. Ninian’s lifetime it took him more than one day’s riding to reach the outskirts of the huge estate given him by the chiefs of Galloway. Time and again it was the well-farmed land and the prosperous flocks that attracted invaders to Celtic Christian communities. The buildings, the land and the flocks of Candida Casa were replaceable. But the burning of the famous library was disastrous. Between them the Angles and the Norsemen left scarcely one book from all the thousands copied in Scottish monasteries.

One of the British saints of the sixth century whose work lay chiefly in Scotland was St. Kentigern, better known by his Pictish pet name, Mungo (meaning “my dog”). Born c. 525, he was brought up by the then aged St Serf in his school at Culross, run in the true Candida Casa tradition. St. Kentigern then moved onto Carnoch in Stirlingshire, where he remained till the death of the abbot, St. Fergus. Taking with them their master’s body, St. Kentigern and a group of his companions set off west. They halted at last at an ancient cemetery once consecrated by St. Ninian. There they buried St. Fergus, and St. Kentigern founded a community so ardent that it soon came to be known as Glasgu (Glasgow) or the Happy Family.

Strathclyde was full of unhappy refugee Britons driven north by the mass of west-moving Angles now separating them from their kinsmen in Cumberland and Wales. Up-rooted, they fought among themselves, so becoming an easy prey to marauders. This insecurity lasted till 573, when King Roderick of Strathclyde won a decisive victory at Arderyd, near Carlisle, over the pagan Angles and their allies the pagan Britons of the Solway.

St. Kentigern’s monastery, founded c. 550, was therefore as much in demand as a sanctuary as for the worship of God. His serene cheerfulness appealed strongly to the bewildered Britons who, wishing to give the young monk yet more authority, insisted that he become bishop of their church. Because of Candida Casa’s temporary plight, St. Kentigern had to be consecrated by a bishop from Ireland. During Lent the new bishop always fasted alone; and always he wore the roughest clothes and slept, as did all his disciples, on the floor of his little hut. After seventeen years as the distracted King Roderick’s chief adviser, St. Kentigern had to fly from the threats of a jealous chief. He went south to visit St. David and the Christian Britons of Wales, pausing on his way to found at least eight churches among those Britons driven by the Angles into the Cumberland hills. Mungriesdale is the site of one of these churches, and further proof of the saint’s activities there can be seen in the ancient stones incised with the equal-armed cross of the Brito-Pictish church.

It is said that St. David, by that time head of the Celtic Church in Wales, obtained for St. Kentigern permission from Maelgwyn, king of north Wales, to found a monastic community at what is now St. Asaph’s. It is so called after the second abbot. For after the battle of Arderyd, St. Kentigern felt bound to accede to Roderick’s request that he return north to help him reorganize the Christian Church in Scotland. So, as his successor, he left St. Asaph, a young relative among his pupils.

Roderick agreed that while Glasgow was prepared for the saint’s return, St. Kentigern should stay for a while at Hoddam in Dumfrieshire. From this base he sent forth parties of lettered priests and manual lay-workers to found in his name Christian communities wherever men in those parts had lapsed from the faith or learnt it wrong. The little town of St. Mungo’s was once one of that group of settlements.

It speaks well of St. Kentigern’s reorganization of the British Church of Strathclyde that he was so soon able to turn Glasgow into a mission base. In Aberdeenshire he and his two Welsh disciples, St. Finan and St. Nidan, founded enough new settlements to ensure a well-balanced education for all the Pictish children of the district. When, towards the close of his long life, St. Kentigern called for volunteers to carry the gospel to the extreme north, we may assume that many of these Pictish pupils helped the mother house of Glasgow to carry Christianity in little ships to the Orkney and Shetland Islands, to Iceland and to Norway. It seems incredible that the Celts should venture to settle among the Norsemen. But on the coast of Norway there are relics to prove that they made the attempt.

On the numerous chapel sites of the Orkneys and Shetlands a wealth of sculptural stones and iron hand-bells point to a flourishing sixth-century church. These remains and such place-names as Papa Westray and Papa Stour show this church to have been an offshoot of the British church and not of that of St. Columba, whose Scotic followers could not pronounce the letter “p” and who therefore called their monastic clerics abs. The word ab or abbot is derived from a Syrian word for father and was used by all but the remotest papas after the bishop of Rome adopted the title of Pope. St. Kentigern’s mission to the islands is recorded; but there is always the possibility that followers of St. Ninian were the first to arrive there.

A ninth-century Norseman witnessed to early Celtic Christianity in Iceland. He says that invading Norwegians were told of men who had lived there called papas. Their books, bells and staffs were still preserved by the people and were recognized by the Norwegians as being of Celtic origin. Through St. Kentigern, therefore, St. Anthony’s Egyptian monasticism, as interpreted by St. Martin, was actually practised for a time on the edge of the Arctic Circle.

Since the end of the fifth century, Scots from Ireland, enjoying much the same colourful culture as the Picts of Ireland (there is beauty, even in Celtic pots and pans), had been settling all over what we now call Argyllshire, but which they called Dalriada after their Irish home. They had even penetrated east of the great mountain barrier; but in 560 the Picts fought them back, killing their king and refusing to his successor a higher rank than that of chief. The immigrants were still stunned by the magnitude of this reverse when St. Columba came to their rescue in 563 and by doing so changed the course of Scottish history.

Born in 521 of royal parents, St. Columba had nevertheless spent the last eighteen years before his arrival in Scotland founding and ruling some of the leading monasteries of Ireland. It is said that a quarrel with St. Finbar of Moville about the secret copying of his British gospel, followed by what St. Columba took to be an unjust decision of the High King on the matter, led him to fight at the head of his clan in defence of his honour. The Church deplored his unchristian behaviour and so, when his temper had cooled, did the saint himself. There is penitence as well as anguish in the poems he wrote before he left his beloved Derry to go into exile and win souls for Christ in Scotland.

As his base he chose the little island of Iona, landing there with twelve helpers to build and organize the settlement. The very next year this astonishing man – who was at once a mystic, a poet, an artist, an indefatigable scribe, a musician, an abbot, a missionary, a soldier and a statesman – found time to cross Scotland by the valley of the Ness and visit the pagan Pictish King Brude at his capital of Inverness. He set out to improve the status, in Scotland, of his fellow Scots and this he achieved largely through his intelligent action in taking with him as advocates and interpreters his two friends St. Comgall of Bangor in Ulster, and St. Kenneth, also from Ireland. Both monks were known to King Brude through their work in the Brito-Pictish Church. St. Comgall himself was an Irish Pict; and St. Kenneth’s chief monastery in Scotland was in Pictish territory at St. Andrew.

Brude granted permission for St. Columba to preach to his people in Argyllshire and the west. Coming, as they did, from north-east Ireland, the Scots might be expected to know something of Christianity. Besides, twenty years before St. Columba’s arrival, the Scot, St. Brendan, famous as a navigator, had arrival many of the Western Isles, leaving a chapel even on remote St. Kilda. Nor had the Brito-Pictich church forgotten the west. For St. Columba found the Irish Pict St. Moluag on the island of Lismore, burial place of the kings of the western Picts, among whom he worked. He was one of the finest missionaries produced by Bangor and his island base was quite close to Iona. Until St. Moluag left Lismore to follow St. Ninian’s well-worn track (one of his chief foundations was at Rosemarkie in Ross-shire) there seems to have been a dangerous rivalry between the two men of God, St. Columba naturally objecting to St. Moluag’s trespassing on such islands as Lewis, Mull and Skye. Iona itself had been holy since the days of the druids. It was already the holy days of the druids. It was already the burial ground for Scotic kins and had been the home of at least one saint and seven bishops. Obviously, then, St. Colomba often met Christians in the west. But when he died in 597 the west of Scotland could in truth be called Christian. The number of Kilcolumcilles or churches of Colm of the cell (the nickname St. Columba’s companions had long ago given him) to be found in Argyllshire and the Western Isles is little short of miraculous.

St. Columba’s busy life in Iona is vividly described by the ninth abbot, Adamnan, who not only lived in Iona, but heard many of the stories he tells from the lips of those who had known the saint. Good translations of the seventh-century Life are available to give students of Celtic Christianity a glimpse of sixth-century monks at work in the cells and fields of their island monasteries, attending a conference at Tiree, the granary of the islands, searching far to the north for islands on which to live alone with God, or merely battling with the wind and the waves in their coracles. But far greater is the space in the book devoted to Prophecy, Divine Miracles and Angelic Visitations, for Adamnan’s interest is primarily in the world of spirit. His account of St. Columba’s death is among the world’s unforgettable stories, so perfectly is it told.

For the statesman in St. Columba we have to refer to other sources. In 574, the year after the British King Roderick won the battle of Arderyd, King Connall of Dalriada died. It may well have been the strengthening of the kingdom of Strathclyde that decided St. Columba to ignore Connall’s clan and to choose as Connall’s successor his own protégé Aedhan, the warrior son of that king the Picts had killed just before St. Columba’s arrival in Iona. Under Aedhan the Scots now began to take the offensive once more, and constant raids on Pictish territory were backed by strong prayers for victory from Iona. Most of these thrusts were naturally south of the mountain barrier; though in 580 Aedhan’s fleet went north to attack the Orkneys.

These raids, and the subsequent planting of Columbian churches among the Picts brought about that most impressive incident in an age where trespassing was habitually settled by force – the meeting between St. Kentigern and St. Columba. They approached each other singing psalms in Latin, which language they probably used in their conversation seeing that they spoke different dialects. So small was the Christian world of the Far West that all the great Celtic saints were known to each other. Often they were linked together by ties of blood, or had shared the same friends or teachers, and all were nurtured in the same tradition. Two of St. Columba’s teachers were British trained, and St. Martin’s Gospel, the book he secretly copied and which led to his exile from Ireland, was St. Finbar’s precious copy of St. Jerome’s new translation brought to Moville from the British school at Candida Casa, but as yet almost unknown in Ireland.

The stories of stags and of even a wolf ploughing for St. Kentigern, and the stories of the bird that thanked St. Columba for his hospitality and the white horse that wept for him, underline the deep tenderness in the hearts of both lovers of Christ. It is not surprising then, that their very different political aspirations could be discussed amicably and profitably. When they parted the two saints exchanged staffs, thus ratifying their agreement not to trespass beyond the boundaries assigned to them by Brude. The extraordinary vitality that flowed in wave after wave of missionary monks from Iona was to find another and far more useful outlet in the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons of Northumbria. The Britons and Picts were slow to forget the cruelty of the invasion, but the Scots had suffered no violent contacts with the Teutons. Those who visited Iona were welcomes and their sterling qualities recognized. And as for the Anglo-Saxons in England, they adored their teachers and were for long accustomed to think of St. Columba as St. Peter’s equal in heaven.

To return to Scotland, it is not too much to say that the change from the defensive to the offensive wrought in the Scots by their two leaders, St. Columba and King Aedhan, led to their eventual supremacy in what we now know, in consequence, as Scotland.

St. Columba died in 597, exactly two hundred years after the foundation of Candida Casa and in the same year in which St. Augustine of Canterbury landed among the Saxons(Jutes) of Kent. Three years later St. Kentigern died also; but work went steadily on in the Scotic and Brito-Pictish Churches alike.

Though St. Walloch set from Candida Casa for the still densely populated plains of Aberdeen shire in the eighth century, it would appear that the last large-scale mission to be organized from Candida Casa left it in 580 and was led by St. Donnan. The sites of his foundations show how closely he followed in St. Ninian’s footsteps. The northern most of his churches, or Kil-donnans, is quite close to the site of St. Ninian’s at Navidale. Despite St. Columba’s justifiable refusal to allow St. Donnan to plant settlements among the Picts of the remote north-west, his name is three times found on sites besides north-western lochs. St. Columba was further annoyed at the foundation of a Kil-donnan in Skye and at least three in the Outer Hebrides. St. Donnan’s last base, from which he staffed his island communities, was only a few miles north of Iona on the beautiful island of Eigg. Small wonder that St. Columba prophesied red martyrdom for the intruder. On the Easter Day, 618, St. Donnan was at Eigg celebrating the Offerings in the presence of the islanders and his monks, when Norsemen broke into the church. At his request they postponed their bloody business till he had finished. Then they killed him, along with fifty-two of his monks.

Gradually Norse pirates, who excelled the Celts in seamanship, began not only to raid but to settle in the islands of Scotland. By the end of the eighth century they were using these islands as bases from which to attack the mainland. Candida Casa did not begin to suffer till 776. But disaster overtook the Brito-Pictich Church in the north far sooner. St. Maelrubba (his name means the Red Priest), was sent to Scotland from Bangor in Ulster, and in 673 founded a missionary community at Applecross in Ross-shire. His chief churches stood in the neighbouring north-eastern districts; but like St. Donnn he crossed the mountain barrier and worked up and down the west coast also. Loch Macree is really Maelrubba’s Loch. In 722 the Norsemen sacked Applecross and killed its founder. It was the beginning of the end of Celtic Christianity in Scotland.

Even before the menace of the Norsemen the monastic Celtic Church had ceased to be the dominant force in Scotland. St. Columba’s biographer, Adamnan, became an ardent convert, through his visits to Northumbria, of the Roman form of Christianity, brought to England by St. Augustine. In 688 he succeeded in convincing the British Church of Strathclyde of the importance of being at one with Rome, if not in all liturgical practices, at least in computing Easter and tonsuring the head as she did. But his eloquence failed to convince the Scots of Dalriada, and even his own monks at Iona resisted till 729 the considerable changes in outlook demanded by the representatives of the Archbishop of Canterbury, of a church who considered St. Columba St. Peter’s equal. During the hundred and fifty years segregation the Celtic Church preserved so many early Gallican and Eastern customs embedded in its own peculiar monastic form that to Rome, ignorant of their derivation, Celtic Christianity seemed nothing less than heretical. To Scotic monks, on the other hand, there seemed grave danger in abandoning the practices sanctioned by their saints for those of an usurping authority. Even in tiny Iona there remained two schools of thought and two abbots from 729 till 777, to one of whom the Romans were the heretics.

As for Pictish Christians, in 710 their King Nechtan found out from the monastery of Jarrow how the Celtic Easter and tonsure were regarded in England. He decided to conform and in those parts of the country where his tribe ruled supreme the Church changed to the Roman Easter and tonsure. Many monks, however, refusing to forsake customs they had followed for over three hundred years, were banished west of Drumalban.

The Book of Deer was only one of thousands to be written in Aberdeenshire during that terrible ninth century by monastic scribes still carrying on the invaluable educational work first started in Scotland by St. Ninian. Scribes who had dreaded the cold grew to welcome it. In the margin of the book he copied a ninth-century Irish monk expressed what was felt in all the remaining monasteries:

“The bitter wind is high to-night

It lifts the white locks of the sea.

In such wild winter storms no fright

Of savage Viking troubles me.”


So many monks perished in Scotland, and so appalling a proportion of their books were destroyed, that were it not that the Lives of such Picts as St. Gomgall, St. Moluag, St. Columban and St. Gall were preserved in Celtic monasteries on the Continent, we should never have suspected the depth of Pictish learning nor the whole-hearted ardour of Pictish Christianity.

Through raid after raid the Scotic monks of Iona clung to the body of their beloved Columcille. But in 831 they had to send it for safely to Ireland. The island, however, was never deserted. The beautiful tenth-century High Cross outside the cathedral there is a glorious testimony that St. Columba’s spirit remained unquenchable in Iona.



Ecclesiastical History of England.  Bede.  Ed. J.A. Giles.

Life of St. Ninian.  Aelred.  Ed. Bishop Forbes of Brechin.

The Pictish Nation.  A.B. Scott.

St. Ninian and the Origin of Christianity in Scotland.  W.D. Simpson.

The Celtic Church in Scotland.  W.D. Simpson.

Life of St. Kentigern.  Joceline.  Ed. Bishop Forbes of Brechin.

Life of St. Columba.  Adamnan. Ed. Huyshe.

Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic church.  Warren.

The Irish tradition.  Robin Flower.

St. Columba of Iona. Lucy Menzies.