Crannogs are places of habitation, constructed as small artifical islands
in shallow lakes or even in coastal waters. They were built using whatever material
that was to hand, but typically rocks, earth, gravel and brushwood were thrown
down into the water to create a platform. Very often, the crannog was built by
driving a palisade of timber stakes into the lake bed to surrond and hold the
infill material in place. This platform, having become consolidated was used to
build a dwelling on, with perhaps some animal accommodation attached. Buildings
were mostly of timber but some were of stone and there are instances of tower
houses being erected on crannogs. It was usual to have a second palisade of timber
stakes up on the crannog and surrounding the building.
were wetland habititions, preservation of organic material associated with them
is generally good. This means that timbers found on such sites can be dated accurately
using dendrochronology. In addition it is possible to construct a very comprehensite
picture of crannog functions and lives of their inhabitants. Many crannogs have
been excavated over the years, all of them in sites that have been drained artifically.
The crannog at The Rise has not yet been excavated.
The evidence seen
in the mound at Loughmerans (The Rise) is very compelling for the existance of
a crannog. From an earth science viewpoint it can be stated with certaintly that
the mound is not a natural occurrence. The existance of a crannog is the alternative
possibility and this is supported by archaeological opinion. The partially decayed
wood found both on the mound and at its outer circumference could possibly be
explained by the existance at one time of timber construction - either as dewllings
or as palisades, on the mound. While the composition of the mound can only be
guessed at from the cursory examination given, it seems likely that it is mostly
of gravel. This would be consistent with findings in other crannogs and the Loughmerans
area is currently dotted with gravel workings, many of which are still in use.