Crannogs On the Web - Tiree
Eilean Aird nam Brathan, Loch Bhasapol
Surveyed May 19, 1995
NGR: NL 9743 4701
This site, identified by RCAHMS (1980, no. 246(1)) is located 41 m off the mid-point of the E shore of Loch Bhasapol. The section of lochbed surrounding the site is composed of firm sand with a slight growth of vegetation. No trace of a causeway was found even though the area between the site and shore was probed. The crannog is surrounded by water 1.0 m to 1.3 m in depth with the shallower water located between the site and shore. Immediately to the SW of the site the water deepens to over 2.5 m.
This artificial island is a oval shaped mound of small and medium sized stones which measures 29.2 m by 41.5 m at its base. The mound is capped by a fairly level, oval platform which measures 14.0 m by 23.0 m with the long axis running perpendicular to the shore. This platform is located 1.1 m above the surrounding lochbed and was just below water level at the time of survey. The surface of the islet is heavily overgrown with reeds, and peat is just beginning to encroach. Large boulders were found to encircle the base of the site but were not placed in any coherent fashion suggestive of walling. The sides of the mound taper out gradually at an angle of 6 degrees over and average of 8.0 m. No timbers were found on or near the site.
Five separate sections of walling were found on the islet just below the water-line. The first (A) was located 2.7 m from the upper platform in the SE quadrant of the islet. This wall was composed of a single row of large unshaped boulders which followed the islets contour for 8.1 m. The second (B) wall was also composed of large boulders but ran perpendicular from the upper platform to the bottom edge near the centre of the S side of the site for 6.0 m. A third wall (C) followed the contour of the SW section of the upper platform and was composed of angular blocks of medium sized stone set in parallel arcs 25 cm apart. The visible portion of this wall was 1 course high, 1.3 m thick and 10.0 m long. The fourth section of walling (D) connects with the third (C) to enclose the entire west side of the upper platform. This wall is also composed of a double row of angular, medium sized stone and is 50 cm wide and 9.5 m long. A fifth section of walling (E) is located at the edge of the upper platform near the centre of the N side of the site. This wall consists of a single row of medium sized angular stone, 30 cm wide and 4.2 m long and turns ninety degrees in its centre.
Section (C) of the walling
Section (D) of the walling
Several artefacts were found on the upper platform during the survey. Three sherds of pottery were found lying on the surface of the site near the E edge of the fifth section of walling. The largest sherd measures 1.5 cm by 2.5 cm and appears to be part of a rim. The exterior of the sherd is a bright orange colour which the interior is dull grey. The other two sherd are less than 1 sq. cm in size and are dark brown in colour. Two hammer-stones were found on the outside edge of the third section of walling.