A CRANNOG is a man-made island on which is built a house. Some houses were built on existing islands, but many were built up from the bed of the loch, on wooden piles. Loch Awe has about twenty crannogs among its fifty or so islands.
Crannogs were built with the trunks and branches of local trees such as alder, with a thatch of whatever material was readily available, heather or straw for example. Some had causeways to the shore, some were served by boats and had small jetties.
They were in use from 500 BC to 1500 AD roughly, and would either be rebuilt or a new one built nearby when they wore out. Homes off the shore released good agricultural land for growing crops, as well as being safe from predators such as wolves. They were not fortified, which indicates that the country was peaceful.
On Loch Awe only the remains of Crannogs can be seen, in the shape of regular round little islands. A reconstruction of a Crannog can be visited at Kenmore on Loch Tay.