Image of Isle of Iona Post Office sign, with Victorian style postbox behind, Post Office on the beach, and CalMac ferry crossing the sound in the distance

Post Office (c) Andrew Bowden

In an age of emails and internet connected devices in almost every pocket, the humble post office has hung on as a way of connecting people in a more tangible way.

Since 1851 the post office on Iona is one of the first landmarks to greet travellers off the ferry and the iconic Penfold Hexagonal post box is often the last place people stop at before leaving; sending cards to loved ones bearing the Iona stamp only available from this tiny beachfront post office. For decades people stepping inside were greeted by Postmaster Crawford Morrison, who moved to the island in 1988 to take on the task of reviving the island post office, at that time it had no running water or electricity and only half a roof. By 2001 he had transformed it into the island’s first internet café!

Throughout his time as postmaster he had the foresight to buy and save thousands of stamps, which he put on 

envelopes and cancelled with the Iona postmark. In 1997, the 1400th anniversary of St Columba’s death on Iona, he commissioned a special postmark featuring a portrait of Columba and a map of the Isle of Iona.

Crawford has generously donated his collection to the Iona Abbey Capital Appeal, and with the help of Community member John Smith, we are now able to give you the opportunity to own a piece of this incredible collection.

We have arranged them into themed sets, including Sport, Children’s Stories and The Royal Family; there are a number of pieces that relate to the Millennium, the 150th anniversary of the Post Office in 2001, and St Columba. A set of covers could make a perfect gift for anyone interested in owning a few pages of history!

Explore the collections here:

https://iona.org.uk/stamps/first-day-covers-and-themed-sets/

https://iona.org.uk/stamps/columba-1997-commemorations/

https://iona.org.uk/stamps/millennium-editions/

https://iona.org.uk/stamps/150th-anniversary-editions/ 

If you would like to purchase any of this unique collection please contact [email protected] with the reference number of all covers you are interested in for instructions on how to pay.

Please note, sales are on a first come first served basis and we will do our best to update the website as soon as a sale is made.

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