Scottish Crannog Center

Scottish Crannog Center

If you love puzzles, you must visit the Crannog, a reconstructed island home, located on Loch Tay 15 meters from the shore.

You might be surprised to learn that this replica represents one of 18 crannogs found in this loch, and 600 throughout Scotland. Believed to be a high status home, it dates from the Iron Age some 2,500 years ago.

To find the missing pieces of this picture, you must be an archeologist. But not the typical dirt digging kind. The excavation of these artifacts takes place 5 meters under water.

The soggy wet jigsaw work began in 1980 at the Oakbank Crannog site three miles from the Crannog Center. Diving activity lasts about a month each year when the water is slightly less frigid. The site is so rich in finds that a month of exploration exhausts the funds available for conservation and analysis. Additional work could be undertaken if the budget were increased. To date the team is about halfway through the dig.

By 1994 enough pieces of the puzzle had been unwatered to begin building the 10 meter diameter roundhouse. The Crannog Center, along with its land-based museum, opened in 1997.

Let your imagination soar as a costumed guide describes what life was like for the twenty or so people who once lived in the crannog (along with their animals). Take your time to soak it all in. Feel the house sway if you happen to visit on a windy day. But, don’t worry, the foundation of 168 timber piles drilled into the loch bed is as secure today as it was for those long ago people. You won’t end up in the water.

Back on shore is a display of living history that includes hands-on demonstrations of ancient crafts and technologies. You can try your hand at starting a fire, grinding grain, spinning wool, weaving, or working wood. Perhaps you’d rather drill a hole in a rock. It’s all there. Stay as long as you like.

Afterwards, drive to the nearby village of Kenmore for lunch or afternoon tea at the oldest inn in Scotland. Be sure to save some bread so you can take a stroll on the back lawn and feed the ducklings that live at the edge of the loch.

Or you might want to visit with J K Rowling of Harry Potter fame, who owns a home in the area. But only if you’re invited, of course.

Take a look:

Take a longer look:  Check with Ben to get link to BBC Britain – Live at the Scottish Crannog Center

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