Sunday, October 24, 2021

CRANNOGS, LUXURY LIVING IN THE IRON AGE


The Scottish Crannog Center at Loch Tay
Just across the lake (Loch Tay) from our timeshare in Kenmore, is a wonderful opportunity to walk back in time to see how prehistoric people lived in this lush and beautiful land called Scotland.

On our second day in Kenmore, we drove a short distance away to a museum site, The Scottish Crannog Center. Underwater archeology in the 1990’s found remnants of a classic crannog dwelling in the lake, and that discovery became the perfect opportunity to not only rebuild the structure, but to incorporate it into a larger vision. That vision of a living museum with docents dressed in the latest fashion of Iron Age apparel going about their daily Iron Age chores became one of the highlights of our trip.


Crannogs, Luxury Lake Living

OK, I hear you ask, what is a crannog? First of all, the word comes from old Irish meaning a wooden structure or vessel and came to mean a lake dwelling. These multi-use dwellings were built several feet into the lake supported by hundreds of wooden pilings,  and connected to the shore by sturdy piers that could be barricaded off at night for protection.  They are found all over Scotland and Ireland, with Scotland having the oldest known crannogs dating from about 3,500 BC. Loch Tay alone has 18 of these.


Inside the crannog are all the comforts of home:
  a loom for weaving cloth with a handy supply of wool... 


...central heating and cooking facilities combined...


...and a luxurious sleeping loft with accommodations for the pigs and chickens etc. underneath.

An entire extended family, (mom, dad, kids, gramma, grampa, etc.) plus their animals would shelter in a crannog. Tucked in for the night with central heating, a private loft for mom and dad, and fresh goats milk on tap, what more could you want? Looks like the good life to me! Built next to rich farmland and easy access to trading networks on Loch Tay, they appear to have been inhabited by prosperous people who lived in peace for several generations.

Tom, an avid wood worker himself, is given a chance to see what tools an Iron Age carpenter would have used. Here he is working a lathe which produces quite sophisticated results. In fact, all of the tools that were used are ingenious allowing for quite a comfortable existence.

I was amazed by the complexity of the loom. If left up to me, I would still been wearing animal skins!

Demonstration of how bowls were carved out using Iron Age technology. 

During the day, the villagers lived and worked outside the crannogs.

For more information, click on the link:  Scottish Crannog Center

Stay tuned for more of Bonny Scotland!

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