Welcome    Accommodation    Availability/Prices    Gallery    Guestbook    Location    Whats On    Contact Us   
Cottages in Scotland on Walkhighlands

Bonawe Iron Foundry

Bonawe Iron FoundryIn 1753 a Cumbrian ironmaster opened a new works in Scotland, at Bonawe. The chief attraction was the extensive woodland of Argyll, guaranteeing him an almost endless supply of charcoal. Plenty of water for powering the huge bellows was an added advantage. The iron ore was imported from Cumbria.

The ironworks proved successful. In its heyday, the furnace produced 700 tons of pig iron annually, and employed up to 600 people, most of them ‘charcoalers’ working in the woods. The works outlasted all the other Scottish ironworks using charcoal as fuel, and when it finally closed in 1876, after 123 years of operation, only Backbarrow, in south Cumbria, remained operational.

The furnace mostly produced pig iron for export. However, during the Napoleonic Wars it churned out cannonballs. The workforce was the first in Britain to erect a monument to Admiral Nelson’s memory after Trafalgar in 1805. The standing stone still stands in Muckairn churchyard, in Taynuilt, but the Cumbrian slate plaque is on display at Bonawe.

Historic Scotland - Bonawe Iron Foundry


Welcome   Accommodation   Availability   Gallery   Guestbook   Whats On   Location   Contact   T&C   Links   Sitemap