Scotland: Fire destroys recreated Iron Age house in Perthshire

A recreated Iron Age house on the shores of Loch Tay has been gutted by fire.

The Scottish Crannog Centre, which is also a museum of life in ancient Scotland, was hit by a devastating blaze on Friday evening.

The Iron Age roundhouse stood on stilts on the loch shore at Kenmore in Perthshire.

Video and pictures posted online by people nearby showed the Iron Age house engulfed in flames.

Mike Benson, the director of the Crannog Centre, said CCTV footage showed the fire took hold and destroyed the house in minutes.

He told BBC Scotland: “It’s just a devastating blow.

“It’s such a much loved icon, you can’t think of Loch Tay without thinking of the Crannog Centre. It’s been here for 25 years and has been so incredibly loved.

“The main thing is nobody has been hurt, the crannog has gone but it is not the end of the story.”

Mr Benson said he had been “inundated with support” since the incident and said he was grateful the museum collection is intact.

John Ward, who witnessed the blaze, told the PA news agency it was “devastating to watch it burn”.

He said: “I saw it from the road end and my boat is at the marina. So lucky the wind was a westerly or it would have done a lot more damage.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it was called to the scene at 23:12 where there was a “well developed” fire.

The fire was extinguished less than an hour later and there were no reports of any casualties.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Enquiries will be carried out to establish the full circumstances, though there is nothing at present to suggest the fire is suspicious.”

Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, tweeted: “Simply awful. The internationally renowned Crannog Centre is a huge part of the whole community of Kenmore/Loch Tay.

“So sorry for all involved with the centre who will be really upset this morning. We must rebuild it.”

Last year the Scottish Crannog Centre was one of a number of community projects which shared almost £200,000 in funding as part of Scotland’s Year of Coast and Waters.