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Islay, Craigens, A' Chrannag

Earthwork (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islay, Craigens, A' Chrannag

Classification Earthwork (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) A'chrannog

Canmore ID 37376

Site Number NR26NE 5

NGR NR 2946 6741

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilchoman
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR26NE 5 2946 6741.

(NR 2944 6741) A Chrannag (NAT)

OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1900)

A rectangular, grass covered mound, apparently artificial, and obviously Medieval (information from RCAHMS) in saltings at the SE corner of Loch Gruinart.

It measures 65ft by 60ft by about 4 1/2ft high, the sides are bevelled and there are traces of a ditch on three sides. Resistivity tests in 1961 indicate an anomaly near the centre at a point now marked by a small stone cairn. Lord MacDonald of the Isles is said to have pitched his tent and raised his standard in this mound before the battle of Traight Gruineart in 1598. Sheep recently been buried in it.

The name means 'The Pulpit.

Name Book 1878; S Valdar 1961; F Celoria 1959.

A Chrannag (name not verified) is a sub-square apparently earthen 1.2m high mound built into a low rise in saltings at the S end of Loch Gruinart. It has an uneven, mutilated, but generally level top 16.0m across and a ditch on all but the E side. This ditch, 5.0m wide and 0.6m deep, is further accentuated by tidal erosion and appears to be a quarry-ditch for the mound rather than a defensive feature. There is no trace of the small cairns (Celoria 1959) nor any evidence of occupation. Its origin and purpose is obscure.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (T R G) 7 May 1978.

This earthwork is situated among the salt marshes at the SE head of Loch Gruinart about 400m NW of Craigens

farmhouse. It is a low scarped platform which stands about 1.25m above the base of a broad encircling ditch and covers an area about 16m square. The angles are extruded to form roughly circular projections some 4m in diameter; the S pair of bastions are solid, while those at the NW and NE angles have hollowed and open-ended interiors. The ditch varies between 8m and 10m in maximum width, and a later turf dyke traverses the SE corner of the site.

Although occupying an exposed and low-lying position, these remains possess the shape of a temporary bastioned

artillery platform, and the site (whose name means The crannog') is traditionally associated with the battle of Traigh

Ghruineard, fought between the MacLeans and the MacDonalds in 1598. (Ordnance Survey Name Book 1878)

Visited May 1978



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