Possible crannog site: Loch Riaghain, Gott

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The Turnbull Report (1768) has this entry under Gott: ‘Feature 211. Moss situate on the North side of the lock, of a good quality, this is mostly wrought. There is an old fort in the middle of this moss.’

‘Gott | An islet, possibly to some extent artificial, on the northern side of Loch Kirkabol. There is an oral tradition of an attack on a house here (see section 18.c.4). Blaeu marked a ‘tree’ map symbol on the islet (see section 5.6.5). After partial drainage to expose peat banks in the eighteenth century, this became a peninsula jutting into the northern side of the loch (see Turnbull Map 1768). Water levels have now risen again. The loch was mapped in the late sixteenth century as Loch Kirkabol (Blaeu 1654), in 1768 Loch Kirkapoll (Turnbull Map) and in 1878 by the Ordnance Survey as Loch Riaghain (see Riaghain).’ (Holliday, J. (2021) Longships on the Sands, p. 511)

A band of Vikings came to stay in a house on an island in Loch Riaghain in Gott while the husband was away. They stayed for a week and then left, taking his wife and three children and setting fire to the house. This story was told to Donald MacDonald by his mother-in-law Isabella MacIntyre, Gott, while they were haymaking in 1951. In 1955 it was a very dry summer and the contractor Danny Gillespie was digging out G An Dig Mhòr ‘the big ditch’ that drains Loch Riaghain when he came across burnt looking pieces of wood (Donald MacDonald, Heanish, 9/1995 and 3/1997; Rosie and Barbara MacIntyre, Gott, 4/1997: oral sources). Donald MacIntyre, Gott, also found ‘charcoal’ west of the island on the northern side of the loch (Donald MacIntyre, pers. comm.). The 1654 Blaeu map shows this island as Ylen na Hyring in Loch Kirkabol, with a tree symbol drawn on it. This is the only such map symbol for Tiree and Coll, although they are quite common on the Blaeu map of Mull. This is likely to have been a crannog. (Holliday, J. (2021) Longships on the Sands, p. 691)

‘Pottery is said also to occur at an island rock in Loch Riaghain’ (Beveridge, 1903, p. 85)

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