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What is a Crannog

Crannogs are a type of ancient loch-dwelling found throughout Scotland and Ireland, while one has been discovered in Wales in Llangorse Lake. Most are circular structures that seem to have been built as individual homes to accommodate extended families. Other types of loch settlements are also found in Scandinavian countries and throughout Europe.

Crannogs are also known as artificial or modified natural islands and they were as much a product of their environment as the period in which they were constructed.

The authentic crannog reconstruction which forms the focal part of the Scottish Crannog Centre was built by the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology or STUA. The Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology is a registered charity (number SCO18418) and was formed to promote the research, recording, and preservation of Scotland's underwater heritage.

The earliest loch-dwelling in Scotland is some 5,000 years old but people built, modified, and re-used crannogs in Scotland up until the 17th century AD. Throughout their long history crannogs served as farmers' homesteads, status symbols, refuges in times of trouble, hunting and fishing stations, and even holiday residences. Here in Highland Perthshire, the prehistoric crannogs were originally timber-built roundhouses supported on piles or stilts driven into the lochbed.

In more barren environments and in later periods tons of rock were piled onto the lochbed to make an island on which to build a stone house. Today the crannogs appear as tree-covered islands or remain hidden as submerged stony mounds. Several hundred have been discovered so far in Scotland although only a few have been investigated. For a guide book providing more information about Scottish crannogs, contact us at info@crannog.co.uk.



Reconstructing a Crannog

How did the ancient people build their crannogs in the water? Our team of underwater archaeologists carried out a unique experiment to find out and re-discovered the secrets of ancient technology. For further details see our Experimental Archaeology section.

 


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