The Llangorse Crannog
<B reconstruction on Llangorse Lake, the largest natural lake in South Wales
Lough Gara has long been something of an enigma due to the sheer number of crannogs
it supposedly contains.
The Scottish Crannog
Centre at Kenmore, Loch Tay, has constructed a full-size replica to give tourists an insight into old ways.
The picturesque village of Kenmore, at the north end of the Loch, is the place to head for sailing, canoeing, water-skiing and fishing, and it is also home to the Scottish Crannog
Llangorse Lake crannog
, pictured right, is an artificial island built in the early medieval period, which was a royal residence for the rulers of the ancient Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog - roughly equivalent to the old county of Breconshire.
The assemblage from Buiston crannog
, Ayrshire comprised 300 oak and 79 alder timbers, many of which retained the bark edge, making it possible to date to the year phases of construction and repair on the crannog
Once a way of water life: Crannogs
are a type of ancient loch-dwelling found throughout Scotland and Ireland, and the one at Llangorse Lake is the only one in Wales.
They appear also on a greater variety of settlement types, though their distribution is still biased towards the more elaborate and presumably higher-status settlement forms such as brochs, duns, crannogs
A couple of dozen crannogs
(Iron Age lake dwellings) still dot Loch Awe and Innishail Island, at the north end again reached by boat is home to a small but impressive graveyard where now rest many of the Dukes of Argyll.
Some `early' ring-forts and crannogs
, Journal of Irish Archaeology 1: 47-58.
are found in Argyll, but unfortunately for proponents of an Irish origin for crannogs
, dendrochronological dating has shown that Scottish crannogs
have been constructed since the early Iron Age (Barber & Crone 1993), while Irish ones almost all date from after AD 600 (Baillie 1985; Lynn 1983), suggesting if anything an influence from Scotland to Ireland.
This area, back on the mainland, was once the capital of the ancient Celtic kingdom of Dalriada and still visible are standing stones and burial cairns, along with crannogs
- raised islands on lochs.