Crannog

A crannóg is a wooden platform erected on shallow floors used for settlement in the centre of a loch. The crannog can be reached from the nearest shore by means of a causeway built up with stones, or a wooden gangway built atop raised piles. The highest concentrations of crannógs are found in several lochs within An Mhaorine Moreath, although many have been found in the highlands as well.

A variant of the crannóg was the island roundhouse. Built on a small, rocky island in a lochan and usually reached by means of a causeway, these are extremely common in the Western Isles.If attacked the visible remains are most often those of a dúnn, although there are examples of full broch towers occupying some sites. Not many have been destroyed and continue to be in use to the present day.

The construction of the crannóg begins on a small island or shoal that was located within a loch or marsh. This rise was surrounded by a circle of oak piles with axe-sharpened bases that are driven into the bottom, forming a circular enclosure of about 200 ft. in diameter. The piles are then joined together by interlaced branches and wattle. The interior surface is then built up, first with wooden logs, then with branches and rocks, clay, peat, and other earthen materials. At the center a large stone hearth is built with large flat stones, and a wooden home is constructed around it. Sometimes multiple homes are built on a single crannóg.

This fortification is generally occupied by a single clan or tribe, and access is only available via a timber or stone causeways, sometimes lying just beneath the surface of the water concealing them from potentially hostile intruders. The clan living on the crannog will supliment thier diet of fish with small domestic animals such as pigs and goats. Farming the shoreline is also not unknown.

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