MHG26627 - Logboat - Eadarloch


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • WRECK (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NN37NW 2 c. 347 768

For crannog (NN 3473 7683) and trough (NN c. 347 768), see NN37NW 1 and 3, respectively.

In 1933 Ritchie excavated the crannog of Eilean Tigh na Slige or Eilean Ruighe na Slige (NN37NW 1) in Eadarloch, which was formerly the northern extension of Loch Treig and situated in a deep glaciated valley at an altitude of about 240m OD. Excavation took place in advance of the construction of a hydro-electric power dam which has caused the loch level to rise by about 10m and covered the spit that formerly separated Eadarloch from the main body of the loch. The excavations revealed no evidence for a causeway but a probable landing-place and a mooring-post were identified on the N of the crannog.
Two 'somewhat puzzling objects of oak, which have been regarded as boats' were also found 'in the vicinity of the island'. They had been washed out from their original positions, but (in the absence of any other evidence of occupation nearby) were both probably associated in some way with the crannog. Both are on display in the West Highland Museum, Fort William. The smaller of the two artifacts (NN37NW 3) was most probably a bog butter trough.
The larger object was discovered after 1938 in redeposited material and was identified as probably the lower part of a logboat, although an alternative identification as a timber-skid could not be ruled out, and the two uses need not be mutually exclusive. The considerable width of the object and the presence of only a single diminutive runner may, however, argue against its being a skid, on the basis that the sides would rub excessively on uneven ground and generate considerable friction in consequence.
On discovery it measured 15'9" (4.8m) in length and 2'4" (0.7m) in breadth; the timber was identified as 'dressed oak'. A slight 'keel' was noted wrought in the solid along what was assumed to be the underside; the low 'bosses' on the other surface were identified as possible footrests.
As displayed (under accession number WHM 2251) the object is mounted vertically in a stair-well in such a way as to preclude complete examination, but there appears no reason to doubt its identification as a probable logboat. It measures (after shrinkage) 4.7m in length, up to 1.67m in breadth and between 20mm and 90mm in thickness The edges curve upwards into the sides but there is no evidence of either bow or stern structures and the boat may formerly have been longer. Twisting and splitting have occurred during drying and there is a hole around a knot at one point. Neither thickness-gauge holes or toolmarks can be identified.
The 'keel' is of roughly-square section but is slightly rounded, possibly as a result of abrasion. It runs the length of what was presumably the centre of the underside and, from its slight dimensions, would appear to have added little to the strength or wear-resistance of the boat. It may have been intended as a skewomorphic false keel modelled on that of a planked boat.
An oval rounded boss measuring about 0.17m by 0.12m and standing about 45mm high was identified about two-fifths of the way along the presumed upper surface from one end; there are the probable remains of a second at a corresponding position on the other side of the centreline. Both bosses appear to have been greatly worn down, but they were probably too small to be used as footrests and their function remains unclear.
On the basis of the available evidence, the slenderness coefficient was 6.75 which indicates a relatively narrow form. The McGrail morphology code is xxx:1xx:xxx and the form may have been that of a punt or barge.
J Ritchie 1942; R J C Mowat 1996, visited July 1987.

The log boat is on display at West Highland Museum along with the trough and timbers. <1>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NN 3470 7680 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NN37NW
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (1)

  • LOGBOAT (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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