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Portnellan Island, Loch Venachar

Crannog (Period Unassigned), Logboat (Possible)

Site Name Portnellan Island, Loch Venachar

Classification Crannog (Period Unassigned), Logboat (Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Loch Venacher; Loch Vennachar

Canmore ID 24017

Site Number NN50NE 2

NGR NN 5925 0615

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Callander
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN5ONE 2 5925 0615

See also NN50NE 24.00.

A crannog in Loch Vennacher 'at the foot of the loch' at '150 yds from the N shore' marked by a small modern cairn of which one boulder projects above the normal water level. (This had been raised by damming c. 1864.)

Investigated c. 1912, it was found to comprise an artificial collection of loose and irregular stones, c. 40' in length. There is no gangway of stepping stones to the mainland, but the water is somewhat shallower on its landward side. Remains of waterlogged planks, some with mortice holes, were found partly embedded in the loose stones, as well as tree stumps. Several of the larger stones bore apparent traces of fire.

J S Fleming 1915.

There is no local knowledge of this crannog. Local enquiries revealed that the only known obstruction in Loch Venachar is at NN 5925 0615, where a single, concrete-covered boulder with an iron stanchion on top marks the site of Portnellan Island; when the water level is low, some stones are visible here.

Visited by OS (R D) 14 October 1968.

NN 592 061 This submerged crannog, measuring about 12m in diameter, is reported to consist of amound of stones and timbers.

RCAHMS 1979, visited November 1977

In 1913 what was possibly the bottom of a logboat was found whilst a probable crannog was under examination during conditions of low water level. The form of the timber was not recorded but it measured 14' (4.3m) in length by 2' (0.6m) transversely and was found with other 'waterlogged planks' embedded 'partly in the loose stones on the west...side of the island'. There is no record of its removal, and it may remain in situ.

The crannog is situated near the E end of Loch Venachar or Vennachar, which occupies one of the glaciated valleys of the Trossachs at an altitude of about 80m OD.

J S Fleming 1915; R J C Mowat 1996.

The monument lies towards the E end of Loch Venachar close to the N shore. It comprises a crannog, or artificial islet, visible above water level as a mass of stones some 20m in diameter.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 6 March 1997.

NN 5925 0615 The NMRS records the investigation of this alleged crannog in 1912 (NN50NE 2) when waterlogged worked wood was reported among the loose stone covering. An OS report from 1968 notes that only one concrete-covered stone with an embedded iron stanchion was visible above the water at that time (as was also apparently the case in 1912).

A visit was undertaken in August 1996 to assess the site for scheduling. The loch level was significantly lower than at the time of previous reports and the crannog was clearly visible above water some 20-30m from the shore. The crannog consists of a sharply defined rubble mound some 20m in diameter, the main body of which rises to some 1.5m above water level (the precise shape could not be determined as observation had to be made from the shore). This mound is surmounted by two more recent cairns, the largest being centrally placed and c 1m high. The upper portions of this cairn had been concreted over and it was apparently the topmost stone of this cairn that was noted in previous reports. A lower cairn lay a few metres to the E.

There was no trace of a stone causeway and no evidence of visible timbers, either in the shallows adjacent to the shore or, so far as could be seen, on the islet itself.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

I Armit 1996.


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