Inchcolm Abbey was established as an Augustinian priory on Inchcolm, a remote island in the Firth of Forth, in 1235. The surviving ruins are the best-preserved group of monastic buildings in Scotland. Although Inchcolm means ‘Colm’s Isle’ and the abbey is is nicknamed the ‘Iona of the east’, there is no evidence of any link to St Columba. Despite its isolated location it was frequently attacked by English ships during the Middle Ages. Despite this, the cloister, octagonal chapter house and dormitory survive largely intact.
The island was part of 'Fortress Forth' during both world wars with gun emplacements added to defend Edinburgh, the naval base at Rosyth, and the Forth Rail Bridge from sea attack.