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Scottish Crannog Center - Loch Tay

Scottish Crannog Center - Loch Tay

Wow, it's been a month since I've posted.   That is what happens when you buy a new house and move.  I'm really not even back into the entire swing of normality yet - but I felt so guilty about leaving my lonesome photo blog on it's own for so long I thought I'd drop by and give it a little attention.

So this was the next bit on our journey in Scotland.  This was quite wonderful as I'd heard about these Crannogs and I actually had heard about this place watching Time Team - they excavated a Crannog in one episode. 

This is a rebuilt Crannog in the exact Iron Age way that it would have been built, using only Iron Age techniques and tools.

It was blustery and cool that morning, we arrived before it opened actually and had to wait.  We got the first tour of the day.  Even though it was May, it is Scotland after all.  It was a bit rainy and chilly.  There was a small museum and many small stops and talks by the tour guide - who was delightful.  

I have done quite a lot of reading about the Iron Age in Britain, so while she gave the basics to other people on the tour I let my mind wander.  These are some remarkable dwellings.  Secure, warm, comfortable and clean.  Any refuse falls through the floor (covered in reeds and wool) into the Loch. (In fact this very fact is how they can find so many useful things about the Crannogs.  Water, and the mud and peat it falls into, keeps things intact for us to find thousands of years later.

It would have been cozy here, depending on how many people lived in them.  Even so, most of the work during the day happened on land, so it wasn't cramped or miserable.

©jennifer bailey loch tay, scotland, crannog center

It was a really nice morning spent.  After the tour of the Crannog (I could really go into lengthy detail here and describe how it was made, how they maintained it, how they chose the wood for the beams, what tools they used, how they lived inside -- but this is just a photo blog and not a course on Iron Age people in Scottish Lochs) we got demonstrations of all the Iron Age technology that would have been used.  It was pleasant, if a bit silly.  They asked for volunteers for each one and it was a bit ridiculous to watch everyone fail miserably at technology that is two thousand years old, or older. :)

Perhaps it seems anathema for people to know these ancient ways of survival, but I cannot see it that way.  To me, more like, it seems a connection to our human past.  Besides, knowing how to make fire in the clever way they did, from three sticks and twine is eminently useful.  You just never know when you might need that ;)

So lovely morning all considered.  These people who built and lived in this Crannog -- oh and I should mention that there are hundreds of them in Lochs all over Scotland, most of them entirely unexcavated (due to lack of funding, alas) -- they were younger than the people who built a local neolithic monument nearby that we visited right after.  But that's for the next post!

Stirling Castle and William Wallace monument

Stirling Castle and William Wallace monument

Brougham Castle - Cumbria

Brougham Castle - Cumbria