Scotlands History

Crannogs

A crannog was a prehistoric lakeside dwelling, built mostly of wood. Built on small offshore islets, they occur on many inland lochs (notably Tay, Awe and Ness) and estuarial coastlines.

Often, an underwater causeway linked the crannog to the mainland. Some crannogs date from before 500 BC, and some survived in use until the 17th century.

Some sites are now completely submerged, and await investigation by divers. The best reconstruction of a crannog is near Kenmore, in Perthshire, on the south bank of Loch Tay.

Crannog sites are found all over Scotland (and Ireland), but are more numerous on the western side of the country. Some sites seem entirely natural, while others may be man-made or improved by man. Buildings, sometimes a single dwelling, sometimes several, were mostly wood-built on platforms set on piles or stakes to maintain them above water level.

  • A photograph of a reconstructed crannog on Loch Tay

Click on the image to view a larger version.