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The Iron Age

Domestic

Crannog Pile, Castle Loch, Lochmaben

Period:
Iron Age
Description:

A roundwood stake post from the site of a Crannog on Castle Loch, Lochmaben. The upper end of the post has been sawn across creating a flat surface which shows the concentric growth rings. There are 63 rings in total, however this is insufficient to enable an accurate dating of the object. The post has uneven sides with several vertical splits, each tapering towards the bottom of the stake.

 

This pile was probably one of the uprights which were driven into the bed of the loch to give the crannog its main support. These uprights were connected by flat beams which were then covered with stones, branches of trees and brushwood.

 

These dwelling sites were built on artificial islands made of brushwood, peat, stones and logs. They were often surrounded by a timber palisade. They probably first came into use in the later Bronze Age when the metal axes needed to shape timber became available. Crannogs were easily defended and were still inhabited in medieval times, often by lesser lairds and landowners. In 1608 the Scottish parliament passed an act forbidding the erection of crannogs.

Place of Discovery:
Castle Loch, Lochmaben
Materials/Media:
wood
Dimensions:
length: 300 mm diameter (cut section): 60 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:1954.45
Digital Number:
RPD0311
RCAHMS site record:
Castle Loch, Lochmaben