Crannogs in early Scotland, Ireland, and Wales

Crannogs in early Scotland, Ireland, and Wales

Commentary courtesy of Carolyn Bruce on the Scotland Rising facebook page.  Picture from

These are crannogs, unique loch-dwelling sites that have been found in Ireland and Scotland, and at least one in Wales. There are also loch dwellings of other types in Scandinavia. Crannog houses have been used as dwellings, shelter from enemies, fishing and hunting lodges, and even modern-day residences. The earliest among them are estimated to be more ancient than the oldest Egyptian pyramids. Crannog homes were built on islands made by human effort, either by mounding up stones on the bottom of a lake until there is a sufficient space to build a house, or by altering existing small islands until suitable for construction, or pounding heavy pilings into the lake bottoms, to support construction of roundhouses on offshore platforms above water level. There are numerous archeological investigations of the remains of these ancient homesteads, and the waters around some of them are so cold as to be all but free of bacteria, permitting archeologists to recover everyday items used by the residents, including one 25 centuries-old butter dish that still had butter in it! Seeds, plant fibers, and wooden objects have been recovered from the depths of the lochs. The homes themselves were usually built round or oval, between 15 and 30 meters, or roughly 49 to 98 feet in diameter, though exceptions have been found.

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