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.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1753
Category: Industrial sites in United Kingdom

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tim Gardner (10 months ago)
An interesting part of the area's history, with really well - preserved buildings. The staff member looking after the site was fantastic - very friendly and informative.
John Brown (12 months ago)
Pleasant and informative staff.
Prabhakar Chelliah (12 months ago)
A visit to this historic place is a must if you are in Oban. The site has been preserved very well. To top it, we received an in depth explanation from the officer in charge on what to expect during our visit. The museum also had extensive explanations on the extraction of iron, and how the iron was used in the production of cannons and artilleries for the Battle of Trafalgar.
Geoff Phillips (12 months ago)
Interesting visit for history of Industrial Revolution
Kim Waddup (2 years ago)
Currently closed, but managed to walk around anyway. Very good.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Gruyères Castle

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.

In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.

The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.

A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.