Loch Seil, Kilninver, Argyll

Crannog (submerged):  OS Grid Reference – NM 80390 20292

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 22994

Getting Here

A beautiful place found along the roadside towards Seil Island, on the B844 a few miles south of Oban.  When you get near the south end of the loch right by the road, have a gander!  If the waters are low you can sometimes see the ghostly island appear above the waves…

Archaeology & History

You’re lucky to see owt here – the isle has all but submerged.  This old artificial island could once be clearly seen less than 400 yards south of Duachy farmhouse, near the southwestern edge of the loch.  It measured roughly 10 yards by 8 yards, was built of stones, seemingly “with a boat-slip on the west side and a ‘square place’ on the east as if for a landing stage.”  All trace of the causeway linking it to the shore has apparently vanished.  But if you do stop here, check out the Duachy Standing Stones on the hillside behind you!

References:

  1. Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Argyll – volume 2: Lorn, HMSO: Edinburgh 1974.#

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  56.323950, -5.553310 Loch Seil

Dalineun Isle, Loch Nell, Argyll

Crannog:  OS Grid Reference – NM 88350 26628

Getting Here

Take the A816 south from Oban and after 2 miles at the hamlet of Kilmore, turn left.  Follow the road for nearly a mile and as the loch appears ahead of you, stop!  The small island crannog is close by the bottom of the loch in front of you.

Archaeology & History

Curiously omitted from the Scottish Royal Commission inventory for Lorn (1974), when R. Angus Smith and his friends explored this artificial island in the 1860s and ’70s, he told:

“it is nearly round, not much larger than a good-sized cottage. It is surrounded by stones large enough to be difficult to lift, and in some places showing themselves to have been put together by art. It would appear as if there had been a pretty firm wall all round – very firm it could not be without mortar or heavier stones. Three or four feet within the range of stones is a raised turf-mound, as if this had been the wall of a house; the centre of the space was rather higher than the rest, and there we expected a fire-place to be found.”

Once they’d got onto the old crannog, Smith and his associates started digging, saying,

“by digging about three feet and a half, the ashes of peat were obtained, bones, charcoal and nuts. A very small hole was made, as we had not then received liberty to dig. We were satisfied that this had been a lake-dwelling, and that it had been defended by a wall. Advantage seems to have been taken of a shallow place, and stones must have been carried to it. It may turn out that there is a wooden foundation. It is not easy to see by what means the covering of earth now over the floor was so much raised. The water of the lake forms little or no deposit in summer; art rather than natural circumstances may have raised the soil. The bones here were split, as at the lake-dwelling in the moss.”

References:

  1. Smith, R. Angus, Loch Etive and the Sons of Uisneach, Alexander Gardner: London 1885.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  56.384392, -5.429936 Dalineun Isle crannog