Calendar of Scottish Saints – Saint Inan, Confessor

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9th century. In the southern district of Scotland are to be found many traces of the cultus of a saint bearing this name, though his history is not known.

Some consider him a native of Ayrshire, since the greater part of the remains connected with him are to be found in that county, where he seems to have spent many years of his life. Others claim him as a native of Ireland, and it has been conjectured that his name is merely a corruption of Finan. There are no conclusive proofs in support of either opinion.

The chief place of residence of Saint Inan seems to have been at Irvine, though many interesting remains recall his memory at Beith On the Cuff Hill in the latter parish is a cleft in the rock which was originally of natural formation, but has been enlarged by art; it bears the name of “Saint Inan’s Chair.” At a short distance from it is a double spring of abundant and excellent water known as “Saint Inan’s Well.” On the day corresponding to the 18th August, old style, a fair is annually held in the vicinity, which bears the name of “Tenant’s (probably a corruption of Saint Inan’s) Fair.” Inchinnan (Renfrewshire) is said to signify “Inans’ Isle.”

Another well bearing the saint’s name is at Lamington in Lanarkshire, where the church was dedicated to him. At Southenan, Ayrshire, was another church or chapel bearing the name of Saint Inan; for a charter of James IV in 1509, confirms the donation of John, Lord Sempill, of a perpetual Mass therein.

MLA Citation

  • Father Michael Barrett, OSB. “Saint Inan, Confessor”. The Calendar of Scottish Saints, 1919. Saints.SQPN.com. 9 June 2014. Web. 21 September 2014. <>