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Barean Loch's Crannog

A crannog is a type of ancient loch dwelling bult as a partial or artificial island.  They were normally built in lakes and estuarine waters for security reasons and are found in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.  As can be seen in the picture of a reproduction the structure was made of timber or sometimes of stone and were usually constructed on existing islets or in the shallows of a lake.  The example here at Barean is in water of 3-5 metres depth and was constructed on large piles driven into the loch floor.  Usually the shape of these islands/structures is round.  Most crannogs seem to have been built as individual homes to accommodate extended families but some larger examples are known as ‘royal crannogs because they were assumed to have been the homes of high status members of a group.


The crannog found at Barean Loch in 1865 during drainage work.  Carbon dating shows that it was occupied sometime between 190BC and 670AD.  The original crannog consisted of a circle of oak piles enclosing a wooden floor all located on a stone mound of about 32 metres in diameter.  Various timbers have been discovered during the original investigations and two subsequent archaeological surveys in 1989 and 2002.  The remains of 10 piles were found still in position together with many other transvers timbers.  On the east shore a loose oak plank was found with the remains of a mortice joint.  This is thought to have been the remains of a boat noost where boats could moor on the island,


During the 1865 survey 2 bonze soldier’s cooking pots were discovered from the 1st or 2nd century AD.  The pots were of a Roman design of a type used be soldiers.  The remaining pot is held in the National Museum of Scotland.