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Loch Coille-Bharr, crannog, Knapdale

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Argyll, Argyll and Bute

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0467 / 56°2'48"N

Longitude: -5.5678 / 5°34'4"W

OS Eastings: 177897

OS Northings: 689504

OS Grid: NR778895

Mapcode National: GBR DDMQ.Y5G

Mapcode Global: WH0J8.F8WV

Entry Name: Loch Coille-Bharr, crannog, Knapdale

Scheduled Date: 12 December 2001

Last Amended: 19 September 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10131

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: crannog

Location: North Knapdale

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Mid Argyll

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument comprises the submerged remains of a crannog, an artificial island structure which may date to between 500 BC and AD 400. The crannog is approximately 9m in diameter and it is located at the southern end of Loch Coille-Bharr, approximately 30m above sea level.  None of the site is visible above the water.

It survives as a submerged stony platform with evidence of a surrounding revetment wall. It is likely to contain and overlie significant structural, artefactual and ecofactual materials. The character and extent of the monument has been verified by archaeological investigation.

The scheduled area is circular on plan measuring 20m in diameter to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural significance

The monument's cultural significance has been assessed as follows:

Intrinsic Characteristics

Archaeological investigation of this submerged structure has confirmed the substantial survival of the underlying mound and sections of revetment walling. Such walling is a relatively uncommon component of crannog construction. Investigations in 1867 demonstrated that the site was entirely constructed of stone and walling. The investigations also recovered a wooden paddle, bone tools and fragments of wooden beams. The beams were possibly from a rampart or building on the island rather than relating to the construction of the island itself. The investigations were limited and the platform appears relatively undisturbed and is surrounded by thick lake silts. Therefore there is significant potential for the survival of other organic material from the occupation of the site.  

The site is constructed on a bedrock reef, itself an extension of a promontory extending from the loch side. This example can therefore help us understand more about the siting, construction and occupation of these structures. 

Contextual Characteristics

This monument is part of a Scotland-wide distribution of nearly 400 known crannog or crannog-related structures. There are significant concentrations of crannogs and island settlements in southwest Scotland, Argyll and the inner Hebridean islands, and they are to be found on many freshwater lochs. This example is part of a local clustering of approximately 10 monuments recorded as crannogs in and around Knapdale. It is located in an area of dense prehistoric activity represented by the remains of ceremonial and domestic structures and it represents a specific from and function of later prehistoric and or early historic settlement.

When this crannog was constructed, the level of the loch must have been significantly lower than now, perhaps as much as 1.5m. Such a reduction in the water level would have left the reef almost connected to the loch shore, so the site may have been a dry island that was adapted and enlarged or even a promontory site. Sites such as Loch Coille-Bharr highlight the blurred distinction between crannogs, island duns and promontory sites (Cavers 2009, 6).

The monument is of national importance because of its inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular the construction and use of island or promontory structures from the later prehistoric and early historic periods. The site survives in good condition with the submerged platform intact with surviving revetment walling. It is likely that the platform and surrounding silt seals important structural, artefactual and ecofactual material, possibly including fragile organic remains which do not normally survive non-waterlogged sites. The loss of the monument could affect our ability to understand the development of island settlements and their significance for communities inhabiting Argyll and western Scotland from later prehistory onwards.

Associative Characteristics

There are no known significant associative characteristics which contribute to the site's cultural significance

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because of its inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular the construction and use of island or promontory structures from the later prehistoric and early historic periods. The site survives in good condition with the submerged platform intact with surviving revetment walling. It is likely that the platform and surrounding silt seals important structural, artefactual and ecofactual material, possibly including fragile organic remains which do not normally survive non-waterlogged sites. The loss of the monument could affect our ability to understand the development of island settlements and their significance for communities inhabiting Argyll and western Scotland from later prehistory onwards.

 

 

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Historic Environment Scotland, https://canmore.org.uk, Canmore ID 39078 (accessed 29/6/16).

West of Scotland Archaeology Service Historic Environment Record reference: WOSAS PIN 3669 (accessed 29/6/16).

Campbell and Sandeman, M and M, 1964, Mid Argyll: an archaeological survey, Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 95, 61.

Mapleton, R J. 1870 Notice of an artificial Island in Loch Kielziebar, in a letter to Mr Stuart, secretary , Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 7, 322-4.

Cavers, G, 2009, Loch Coille Bharr Crannog, Argyll and Bute (North Knapdale parish), survey, Discovery Excav Scot, 10. Cathedral Communications Limited, Wiltshire.

Cavers, M G, 2003, Argyll Crannog Survey (various parishes), crannog sites, Discovery Excav Scot 4, 28. Cathedral Communications Limited, Wiltshire.

Canmore

https://canmore.org.uk/site/39078/


HER/SMR Reference

http://www.wosas.net/wosas_site.php WOSAS PIN 3669

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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