Crannogs are lake dwellings, artificial islands on which people built their homes from
the Neolithic period until as late as the 17th century AD.
They were formed by laying down layers of logs, stones, peat and brush, or whatever other
material came to hand (including animal bones), to raise a mound out of the water. The
fine example at Lough-na-cranagh, Fairhead, has
dry stone facing rising up to 7 ft above
To the modern eye, Crannogs may seem uncomfortable places to live, and remnants of wooden
palisades suggest that they were designed for defence. But is quite possible that they
were simply a practical way of building on marshland, and that the lakes developed later.
They can be a rich source of finds, since the prevailing damp preserves perishable
substances like wood and leather.