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Bonawe Ironworks, Lorn Furnace

Furnace (18th Century)

Site Name Bonawe Ironworks, Lorn Furnace

Classification Furnace (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Bonawe, Blast Furnace; Brochroy; Lorne Furnace

Canmore ID 23523

Site Number NN03SW 5.02

NGR NN 00985 31874

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/23523

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Glenorchy And Inishail (Argyll And Bute)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Treasured Places

Established in 1752-3 by Richard Ford and Company, Bonawe Ironworks produced pig iron from haematite ore. In addition to the furnace and storage sheds of the ironworks, the company created an infrastructure for workers that included housing, a school and a church. Rights to nearby woodlands were negotiated with landowners in order to produce the charcoal necessary for the smelting process. The ironworks closed in 1874, some buildings subsequently falling into ruin. The remaining structures, including the furnace, have been preserved and are open to the public.

Information from RCAHMS (SC) 29 August 2007

Hay, G D and Stell, G P 1986

Archaeology Notes

NN03SW 5.02 00985 31874

Lorn Furnace [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1976.

EXTERNAL REFERENCE: Bonawe Furnace

Scottish Record Office:

Erection of furnaces and forges at or near Bonaw in Argyllshire. Contract between Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochnell on the one part and Richard Grizedale, Lancashire and others, (ironmasters).

1752 GD1/168/13

(Undated) information in NMRS.

NN 0098 3187. A watching brief was conducted in June 1998 during the excavation of a drainage trench on the S side of the western charcoal shed and the digging of post-holes for a fence around the lade below the furnace. The work was recorded by photographs, notes and measured sketches.

Although the holes and drainage trench were too small to result in any detailed conclusions, they were useful in showing the general types of deposits around the site, especially the presence of well-preserved organic matter to the S of the western charcoal shed.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

P Sharman 1998.

Activities

Photographic Survey (1960)

Measured Survey (1 April 1962 - 30 April 1962)

Photographic Survey (June 1964)

Photographic survey of Bonawe furnace and ironworks, Argyll, by the Scottish National Buildings Record in 1964

Photographic Survey (1 March 1965 - 31 March 1965)

Measured Survey (July 1966 - November 1969)

Field Visit (14 May 1976)

(Location cited as NN 093 318). Founded 1752 by Richard and William Ford, James Backhouse and Michael Knot; the most important monument of the early Scottish iron industry.

The furnace is square in plan, rubble-built, with a brick stack; the lower part of the lining is missing. The lintels above the tuyeres arch and tap hole are cast iron, one bearing the inscription 'Bunaw F 1753'. Attached to the furnace are the bridgehouse and fragments of the walls of the blowing-engine house and the casting house.

Behind the furnace are three sheds; the larger two were charcoal sheds and the the third, which has partitions internally, was an ore shed. Adjuncts include two ranges of workers' housing (one of them on an L-plan), and a rubble pier (on a T-plan).

Now a Guardianship Monument, beautifully restored by the Department of the Environment.

J R Hume 1977.

Field Visit (1978)

Bonawe (Lorne Furnace). Complete ironworks complex, with furnace ('BUNAW.F.1753' - on lintel), without lining, filling house, ruins of casting house, two charcoal sheds and one shed. Also fine L-shaped row of worker's housing (2 storey). All stone built, slate roofed, houses whitewashed.

Visited and photographed by J R Hume, University of Strathclyde, 1977. Information from NMRS MS/749/77/1.

Aerial Photography (1991)

Watching Brief (June 1998)

NN 0098 3187. A watching brief was conducted in June 1998 during the excavation of a drainage trench on the S side of the western charcoal shed and the digging of post-holes for a fence around the lade below the furnace. The work was recorded by photographs, notes and measured sketches.

Although the holes and drainage trench were too small to result in any detailed conclusions, they were useful in showing the general types of deposits around the site, especially the presence of well-preserved organic matter to the S of the western charcoal shed.

Aerial Photography (26 April 2007)

References

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