The most complete charcoal-fuelled ironworks in Britain, Bonawe was founded in 1753 by Cumbrian iron masters who were attracted by the industrial potential of Argyll’s woodlands. Bonawe Iron Furnace is situated in a spectacular setting at the head of Loch Etive which extends up towards the dramatic Glen Coe.

At its height the furnace produced up to 700 tons of pig iron from Cumbrian ore annually which was cast into everything from cannonballs during the Napoleonic War to iron pigs for export and even the first monument erected to Admiral Nelson after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

A detailed and informative exhibition charts the development of the furnace up until its closure in 1876 and explains the chemistry behind iron making. Today visitors can see inside the charcoal sheds – immense, cathedral-like structures – and admire the remarkably complete furnace.

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Founded: 1753
Category: Industrial sites in United Kingdom

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kim Waddup (4 months ago)
Currently closed, but managed to walk around anyway. Very good.
Roberto Ruiz Revuelta (2 years ago)
Beautiful place to visit. Gently attention by the staff
Jimbo (2 years ago)
If you like industrial history then this is well worth a visit. Very educational
Tim Forber (3 years ago)
Really enjoying visiting here. The information is excellent and the buildings have been well preserved. £5 for an adult is a reasonable price.
Iain Thomson (3 years ago)
Well presented site and the layout helped me understand the pig iron process
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