A crannóg (Irish pronunciation: [ˈkɾˠan̪ˠoːɡ]) is an artificial island, usually built in lakes, rivers and estuarine waters, and most often used as an island settlement or dwelling place in prehistoric or medieval times. The name may refer to a wooden platform erected on shallow floors, but few remains of this can be found. Today, crannógs typically appear as small, circular islands, 10 to 30 metres (30 to 100 ft) in diameter, covered in trees and bushes because they are isolated from browsing livestock.
The name crannóg, anglicized to "crannoge", is from Middle Irish "crannóc", from crann meaning "tree" plus a diminuitive ending. This term was only popular from the 12th century as its popularity spread in the medieval period, before then the term oileán or (island) was used The additional meanings of structure/piece of wood; wooden pin; crow's nest; pulpit; driver's box on a coach and vessel/box/chest for crannóg. The Scottish Gaelic form is crannag and has the additional meanings of pulpit and churn.
Crannógs are most common in Ireland, where at least 2,000 examples are known. They are also very common in Scotland, with at least 600 sites known. It is likely that many more undiscovered sites lie hidden underwater, or in reeds, carr woodland or other wetland environments around lake shores and edges.
The largest concentrations of crannógs in Ireland are in the lakelands district of the midlands, the north and the northwest. The highest concentrations of crannógs in Scotland are in several lochs in Dumfries and Galloway region, although many have been found in the highlands as well. In the Grampian Highlands, a well-known crannóg was built by the Burnetts of Leys, whose family then moved and built the 16th-century Crathes Castle nearby.
A crannóg dating from around 500 AD still stands in a lough in Loughbrickland, near Banbridge, County Down. Another, built c889-893 AD., can be seen in Llangorse Lake in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
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