The existence of these lakedwellings in Scotland was first made known by John Mackinlay, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, in a letter sent to George Chalmers, the author of Caledonia, in 1813, describing two crannogs, or fortified islands in Bute.
But it was not until after the discovery of the pile-villages of the Swiss lakes, in 1853, had drawn public attention to the subject of lake-dwellings, that the crannogs of Scotland and Ireland were systematically investigated.
Three crannogs in Dowalton Loch, Wigtownshire, examined by Lord Lovaine in 1863, were found to be constructed of layers of fern and birch and hazel branches, mixed with boulders and penetrated by oak piles, while above all there was a surface layer of stones and soil.
From their common feature of a substructure of brushwood and logs built up from the bottom, the crannogs have been classed as fascine-dwellings, to distinguish them from the typical piledwellings of the earlier periods in Switzerland, whose platforms are supported by piles driven into the bed of the lake.
On the other hand, the implements and weapons found in the Scottish and Irish crannogs are usually of iron, or, if objects of bronze and stone are found, they are commonly such as were in use in the Iron Age.