Visit the most complete charcoal-fuelled ironworks in Britain located near Taynuilt.
This site is closed. We’re working hard to gradually reopen the places you love while making sure the experience is safe for everyone. Find out more about our reopening plans.
Founded in 1753 by Cumbrian iron masters 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.
Very occasionally the property has to close at short notice due to adverse weather conditions or other reasons out with our control. Please check the Historic Scotland closures page for any unexpected site closures https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/check-for-closures/. You can also follow closure tweets from @welovehistory using #hsclosure. Alternatively please call the site before setting off to check they are open.