Ancient Monuments

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Cherry Island, crannog, Inchnacardoch Bay, Loch Ness

A Scheduled Monument in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Latitude: 57.1549 / 57°9'17"N

Longitude: -4.6699 / 4°40'11"W

OS Eastings: 238600

OS Northings: 810278

OS Grid: NH386102

Mapcode National: GBR G9VT.7MW

Mapcode Global: WH2FK.7FH9

Entry Name: Cherry Island, crannog, Inchnacardoch Bay, Loch Ness

Scheduled Date: 10 December 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9762

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: crannog

Location: Boleskine and Abertarff

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises the remains of a crannog, a late prehistoric dwelling constructed upon a partly or wholly artificial island. It includes submerged remains of what may be a medieval castle.

Cherry Island lies near the S end of Loch Ness, in a rare shallow area near to the W shore. It is more correctly known as Eilean Muireach, Murdoch's Island. Although it is now relatively small in extent, prior to the raising of the loch waters for the Caledonian Canal it would have measured from 50m to 60m across.

In 1908 underwater examination showed the island's construction to consist of an extensive platform of oak beams, fastened together and edged by tree trunks. The wooden structure was observed to be overlain by a mound of rubble with some larger stone. This last may represent the remains of the small castle known to have existed on the site in the 15th century. There are traces of a causeway, now submerged, running from the NW corner towards the nearby shore. On the SE corner of the island, also submerged, is a ridge of stones, perhaps a breakwater.

The area to be scheduled is circular and 80m in diameter, centred on the island as now visible. It includes the whole island and an area of the loch bed around it which formed part of the island until the loch level was raised, as well as a small area outside this in which related remains are likely to survive. The area is shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a good example of a late prehistoric crannog with later, medieval, use. It has the potential to provide evidence for domestic and defensive activity over an extended period. Its waterlogged condition indicates a much better than usual potential for the preservation of organic remains. The monument also has a special place in the history of research into crannogs. In 1908 it was one of first sites to attract the attention of Fr Odo Blundell, then resident at Fort Augustus Abbey. He went on to undertake pioneering underwater examinations of a number of other sites.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NH 31 SE 1.

Blundell, O. (1909) 'Notice of the examination, by means of a diving-dress, of the artificial island, or crannog, of Eilean Muireach, in the south end of Loch Ness', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 43, 159-63.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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