Day 251 - Iron Age Loch Tay: Crannogs & Standing Stones

Comedian, ex teacher and Scottish history expert Bruce Fummey of Scotland HIstory Tours takes a daytrip to Kenmore and explores the stone circles he finds and the amazing recreated crannog on Loch Tay.

Crannogs are a type of ancient loch-dwelling found throughout Scotland and Ireland.

Most seem to have been built as individual homes to accommodate extended families. Similar settlements are found throughoutthe rest of Europe.

The crannog reconstruction which forms the focal point of the Scottish Crannog Centre was built by The Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology. It was created to promote the research, recording, preservation and interpretation 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. Here in Highland Perthshire, the prehistoric crannogs were originally timber-built roundhouses supported on piles or stilts driven into the loch bed.

In more barren environments, tons of rock were piled onto the loch bed 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.

The Crannog reconstruction was built between 1994-1997 as an archaeological experiment led by Dr Nicholas Dixon and Ms Barrie Andrian based on their underwater research. In the absence of major funding, the crannog was built mainly by volunteers too numerous to list individually, with support and contributions from the following:

The Ellis Campbell Foundation, the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the Esmee Fairbairn Trust, Glenfiddich Living Scotland Awards, the Mac Robertson Trust, the MacTaggart Third Fund, Master Thatchers North, the Moray Foundation, Perth & Kinross Council, Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust, Perthshire Tourist Board, the Russell Trust, Scottish Enterprise Tayside, the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology, Tayreed Company Ltd and the University of Edinburgh. We are also grateful to numerous friends and supporters for the donation of goods, services, equipment and funds.

The Crannog opened to the public in July 1997. We thank all staff, students, volunteers and supporters who provided the framework which helped pave the way for a more permanent Centre. We are especially grateful to the Balmoral Group, the Esmee Fairbairn Trust, the Gannochy Trust, the Leader II Programme, Perth & Kinross Council, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, the A Proctor Group and Scottish Enterprise Tayside who supported and funded the new Scottish Crannog Centre which opened in July 2000.

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