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Bo'ness, Kinneil Iron Works

Iron Works (19th Century)

Site Name Bo'ness, Kinneil Iron Works

Classification Iron Works (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Kinneil Road; Kinneil Ironworks

Canmore ID 211821

Site Number NS98SE 160

NGR NS 98696 81202

NGR Description Centred NS 98696 81202

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Falkirk
  • Parish Bo'ness And Carriden
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Falkirk
  • Former County West Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NS98SE 160.00 Centred 9870 8119

NS98SE 160.01 NS 9884 8135 Brickworks

NS98SE 160.02 NS 9860 8095 Ironstone Mines

For Kinneil Colliery (subsequently built on this site), see NS98SE 81.

Kinneil Iron Works: This is an extensive work having four large blast furnaces and two large engines, 60 horse power each, for forcing air into them. There is a foundry (NS c.9864 8127), a wright's shop (NS 9873 8131), a firebrick works (NS98SE 160.01), and a steam saw of 8 horse power, all in good repair. There are about 1000 men employed at the mines and iron works. When the furnaces are in good working order, they produce about 500 tons of saleable pig iron a week. The mineral field here contains two valuable seams of ironstone, one of parrot coal and several seams of common coal; the latter has been worked out many years ago, although the present owners have incurred great expenses to discover the seams of coal to the west, and dips of old coal workings, none have yet been found which can be worked for profit.

Therefore the coals for the use of the works are all brought from other districts: Fife, Clackmannan and the Slamannan collieries. The owners of the works are the trustees of the late John Wilson Esq. It is on the property of the Duke of Hamilton.

Ordnance Survey Name Book 1856

Most of the Iron Works were demolished when Kinneil Colliery (NS98SE 81) was built and since the closure of this coal mine much of the surrounding area has been heavily landscaped removing all evidence of the iron works. The Snab Ironstone pit (NS98SE 160.02) was located at NS 9860 8095.

Map evidence shows that there were four blast furnaces (NS 9868 8189, 9870 8112, 9872 8121 and 9873 8121) which were depicted on the OS 6-inch and 25-inch maps up until the 1920s editions.

The Kinneil blast furnaces were built in 1843 by John Wilson of Dundyvan. After the death of the manager Mr John Begg in 1878, the works manufactured coke extensively. The ironworks closed in the late 19th century and then fell into decay, the remains of the furnaces and coke ovens were still extant in 1912.

Information from RCAHMS (DE), March 2002.



This site falls within the Corbiehall and Snab Area of Townscape Character (NS98SE 207), which was defined as part of the RCAHMS Urban Survey Programme 2013. Text relating to the historical development and topography, and present character of the Corbiehall and Snab Area of Townscape Character can be viewed at site NS98SE 207.

Information from RCAHMS (LK), January 2014


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