Scheduled Monument

Bonawe, Iron FurnaceSM90037

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Last Date Amended
Industrial: bridge, viaduct, aqueduct; dock, harbour, lock; iron and steel; kiln, furnace, oven; store, warehouse, Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Glenorchy And Inishail
NN 943 31962
200943, 731962


The monument consists of the extensive and well preserved remains of the Bonawe Iron Works, founded in 1753. The monument is already scheduled, but this rescheduling redefines the protected area to include only those elements which are essential components of the industrial complex as it survives. Much of the area is in the care of the Secretary of State.

The core of the site includes the furnace building, (including the bridge house, bellows house and casting floor), charcoal sheds and the ore shed. The wider complex also includes the aqueduct bringing water from the River Awe, two blocks of workers' dwellings (with an associated area of rig and furrow), the manager's house, slag heaps, reservoirs, the stone pier on Loch Etive, the remains of stabling and an area of slag-built ridges to the E of Bonawe House. Included in the area is a standing stone of uncertain date.

The area to be scheduled is in four distinct parts or sub-areas.

The largest part includes the pier, the furnace area and the lade. It extends 10m out from all sides of the pier (which is defined to include the now derelict wooden piles beyond the end of the stone structure). The area is defined to the W by the High Water Mark before continuing south to follow the boundary of the area in the care of the Secretary of State for Scotland round to the lade.

The full length of the lade is included in the scheduled area within a strip 30m wide centred on the lade. To the N and E the area is defined by field boundaries and includes the remains of the stables. There are several exclusions from this area. The roofed sections of the workers' cottages are excluded as are various buildings near the pier as marked on the map extract. This sub-area is irregular in shape and is marked in red on the accompanying map.

The two reservoirs associated with the iron works form two further parts of the area to be scheduled. In both cases the area to be protected is defined as 10m out from the normal edge of the water. This gives one area around Lochandhu which is irregular in shape and measures roughly 130m N-S by 110m and a second area in the grounds of Bonawe House which is also irregular and measures roughly 60m N-S by 60m. Both sub-areas are marked in red on the accompanying map.

The fourth area to be scheduled is an area of open field which is covered with small ridges roughly 30cm high made of stone and slag from the iron furnace. Their function is not clear but they appear to have been intended to catch water to form shallow ponds for an industrial purpose. The material used and their location and extent imply an association with the iron works. This sub-area is roughly rectangular in plan measuring some 300m NNW-SSE by 150m and is marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance as the best preserved early iron works in Scotland. The entire complex is essentially complete with the principal exception of some of the machinery around the furnace itself. It is of great importance in the understanding of the development of the industrial revolution and the rapid changes in the Highlands during the later 18th century.



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Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Bonawe Iron Furnace

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Related Designations


    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

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Printed: 25/05/2019 21:57