MHG4691 - Crannog - Loch Vaa


A crannog in Loch Vaa.

Type and Period (1)

  • CRANNOG (Constructed AD 1150-1260, Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

(Area NH 914 175) An island in Loch Vaa is said to be artificial. 'Wooden beams have been looked for and seen round the edge of the stone of which the island is composed'. It only shows above water in very dry weather. <1>

At NH 9129 1745 are the remains of a crannog visible as a pile of stones just protruding above the surface of the loch, which was at a very low level at the time of investigation. It measures approximately 15.0m in diameter overall and on the N and W resting on the submerged stones, are two logs, 1.0 to 1.5m long, which may be displaced piles.
Visited by OS (R L) 22 September 1969.

Excavation and sampling at the crannog in Loch Vaa were undertaken in May 2019. The work was carried out due to exceptionally low water levels which received media attention. The low water levels were seen as a potential risk to sensitive organic archaeological deposits as well as an opportunity for the Living on Water project (led by SUERC) and the Comparative Kingship project (led by Univ. of Aberdeen) to assess the site for potential to carry out further work in support of their ongoing crannog and settlement research. The work consisted of survey and evaluation of the crannog both above and below water to assess what, if any, impact lower water levels had on the survival of organic remains. Survey of the islet demonstrated that no timber or organic material was exposed due to the lower water levels. The underwater survey identified a number of timber elements visible on the crannog mound. Two small trenches revealed organic deposits and structural timbers which were still at least 0.15 m below water as it was on 16 May 2019. Samples of three structural timbers were taken for radiocarbon dating, one of which was progressed for measurement. It returned a result suggesting construction activity on the site probably dating to the second half of the 12th century AD or first half of the 13th century AD. <2>

GIS spatial data amended in 2019 according to survey data supplied as part of <2>.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 9129 1745 (40m by 40m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH91NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.