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Wester Tullich

Chemical Works (Modern), Copper Mine (Period Unassigned), Copper Works (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Wester Tullich

Classification Chemical Works (Modern), Copper Mine (Period Unassigned), Copper Works (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Tomnadashan; Loch Tay; Wester Tullich Copper Mine And Associated Remains

Canmore ID 24473

Site Number NN63NE 28

NGR NN 691 378

NGR Description NN c. 691 378 to NN c. 688 379

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Kenmore (Perth And Kinross)
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN63NE 28 c. 691 378 to c. 688 379

NN 691 378. Copper Mine

NN 688 379. Chemical Works

OS 6" map (1862)

A copper mine and associated chemical works operated by the Marquess of Breadalbane between 1838 and 1862 with heavy losses. The single-storey, rubble buildings of the mine are now roofless and there are large caverns resulting from the workings. The chemical works are now an extensive ruin, considerably overgrown. A stone chute runs some distance up the bank.

SDD List 1963

The remains of these copper workings can be seen at NN 6915 3785 as two ruined buildings and some grass-covered disturbances in the ground, while at NN 688 379 are several related spoil heaps.

Visited by OS (BS) 7 December 1978.

Caves [NAT] (at NN 6917 3780)

Mine (disused) [NAT] (at NN 6915 3775)

Shaft (NAT] (at NN 6920 3777)

OS 1:10,000 map, 1981.

Scheduled as Wester Tullich, copper mine and associated remains.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 21 December 2000.

Western portion (around NN 6888 3798) scheduled as 'Wester Tullich, sulphuric acid works... the remains of chemical works and smelters associated with a nearby copper mine at Tomnadashan, Lochtayside'. These works were operated by the Marquis of Breadalbane between 1838 and 1862, and remain visible as overgrown ruins in dense woodland on the shore of Loch Tay.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 30 January 2003.


Field Visit (13 May 2012 - 28 May 2012)

NM 819 002 (centred on) The overall aim of the research project is to identify prehistoric copper mining in Scotland. The survey began, 13–28 May 2012, by visiting sites where probable hammerstones have been found. Sites visited included Barhullion, Balcraig, Kirklauchline and Wanlockhead all in Dumfries and Galloway, an area where the discovery of a copper ore (bornite) outcrop in a recent quarry at Kirklauchline was of particular interest.

Several other copper mining districts in SW and central Scotland were also visited, including the Tullich Mine at Loch Tay (Perth and Kinross), different sites in the mining district of Wanlockhead/Leadhills (Dumfries and Galloway/South Lanarkshire), Mary’s Mine/Tonderghie (Dumfries and Galloway) and the Kilmartin Copper Mine (Argyll and Bute). Around Bridge of Allan in the Ochill Hills are several copper outcrops where the late medieval Airthrey Hill Mine spoil heaps (Stirling) are easily accessible and still contain a good quantity of copper ores. In Argyll and Bute the mining remains of Abhain Strathain/Meall Mor, at Kilfinan (Murder Lode) and Castleton/Castletown (SE of Lochgilphead) revealed good ‘grey copper ores’, especially at Castleton where the mineralised vein outcrops are easily seen on the shore. In addition the 2012 survey discovered another ore vein along Kilmartin Glen, at the Duntroon Hillfort. The mineralisation is very interesting because of its proximity to numerous archaeological sites.

Further investigation is planned in the area and on other old mining sites in Scotland for 2013. A collection of ore samples has been stored at the National Museums of Scotland, which will hopefully be enlarged in the future to provide a reliable database for investigations, such as the comparison of trace element and lead-isotope ratios in the samples with those found in prehistoric metal objects.

Archive: National Museums of Scotland

Funder: German Archaeological Institute, Department Rome

Daniel Steiniger, German Archaeological Institute, Department Rome



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