This downloadable pdf comprises the Introduction to "Colonsay & Oronsay - An Inventory of the Monuments extracted from Argyll Volume 5. (The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland 1994). It provides a brief history of Colonsay and Oransay from prehistoric times with the emphasis on the historical evidence that has been found on Colonsay. The book is illustrated with numerous monochrome plates, plans and drawings, and describes all of the archaeological and historical evidence emanating from Colonsay and Oransay. It is an invaluable guide for anyone who wishes to visit the many sites of historic interest on Colonsay. It is available from the Colonsay Bookshop.

The observant visitor will notice that "Oronsay" is spelled with an "o" in the RCAHMS book and with an "a" on much of the rest of the site. Academic opinion seems to favour the "o" spelling and maintains that "Oronsay" has nothing to do with St Oran. However, local opinion and usage favours the "a" spelling and that has been adopted as standard for the rest of this site. Incidentally, this link might be of interest in association with use of either the Inventory or the text given below as it describes an actual visit to the island.