The existing remains include a church, chapel, graveyards, a remarkable double beehive cell, a possible underground ritual “purgatory” and a complex of domestic buildings, although it is uncertain how many of these buildings belong to the early Christian period. Human bones and a skull were found at the site in 1859, when one of the buildings was rebuilt as a sheepfold. Eileach an Naoimh has not been excavated
St Brendan the Navigator, whose remarkable adventures culminated in the founding of the monastery.”
His arrival is recorded in verse form in the “Life of Brendan” : So Brendan sailed over the wave-voice of the strong-maned sea, and over the storm of the green-sided waves, and over the mouths of the marvellous, awful, bitter ocean… and found beautiful, marvellous islands.
Adomnán records that Columba was visited on Hinba (Eileach an Naoimh) by St. Comgall, St. Cannich, St. Brendan, and St. Cormac. During a Mass, Brendan saw a luminous globe of fire above Columba's head that "continued burning and rising up like a column of flame, till the Holy Mysteries had been completed". According to the same source, on another occasion whilst visiting Hinba, Columba saw "heavenly visions and revelations" that lasted for three days and nights.