Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

Shore House, excluding late 20th century house at southwest corner, BonaweLB52505

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
28/08/2019
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
Parish
Glenorchy And Inishail
NGR
NN 01007 31977
Coordinates
201007, 731977

Description

Shore house dates from the late 18th and early 19th century and was workers' housing for the Bonawe Ironworks. It is a two-storey, row of former flatted dwellings in an L-plan arrangement. It is now divided into two: a section aligned east/west and another north/south, with the corner plot accommodating a late 20th century house (excluded from the listing) built after a fire destroyed this part of the row. The row is built of rubble masonry and has surviving remains of render. The roofs are pitched and have grey slates. The row is located on low lying ground about 100m north of the furnace at Bonawe.

The section aligned east/west is the earlier part (mid to late 18th century). It was altered during its occupation and is less complete as the western end was destroyed by fire in the mid-1960s. It has two surviving chimneystacks, one on the east gable and one at the wall head on the south elevation, and there are the remains of two forestairs, one on each of the north and south elevations. Several of the ground floor openings have been enlarged but the first floor windows opening are largely unaltered and are just below the eaves. There is a variety of glazing patterns, including four pane in timber sash and cases and six pane timber casement windows.

The section aligned north/south dates to the early 19th century and was planned from the outset as flatted accommodation. The elevations are largely regular, with two 3-bay sections with centrally placed doorways (at the rear forestairs gave access to the doors to the upper flats). The end terrace is less regular as the ground floor accommodated a bakehouse. The rear elevation has one surviving forestair and a rubble walled projection which is the remains of an oven. There are two surviving chimneystacks, one on the north gable and one on the ridge. The window and door openings are generally unaltered and the upper windows are set close to the eaves. The glazing on the first floor is predominately four pane in timber sash and cases, while many of the ground floor windows have been boarded up. The interiors of this row were seen in 2019 and retain some features from the 19th century such as the remains of ceilings, partitions, fireplaces and fire surrounds, and internal doors.

Legal exclusions

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: late 20th century house at southwest corner.

Historical development

The Bonawe Ironworks (scheduled monument SM90037) was operational from 1753 until 1876. It was established by the Newland Company, later known as the Lorn Furnace Company. The two sections of two-storey properties at Shore House were part of the wider provision of residential accommodation for workers and their families at Bonawe ironworks. The earliest part of the L-shaped row (the section aligned east/west) was constructed sometime in the latter half of the 18th century, after the start of operations at the furnace (in 1753) and probably after the construction of the more modest range of cottages known as Lochandu Cottages, at the south end of the complex (LB52504). The building appears on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map of the area, published in 1875.

Statement of Special Interest

Shore House meets the criteria of special architectural or historic interest for the following reasons:

  • The buildings are an important component of this nationally important industrial site.
  • The row is part of a contemporary grouping of residential industrial workers' accommodation directly associated with the ironworks site and contribute to our understanding of Bonawe Ironworks.
  • They are a rare surviving example of workers' dwellings purpose built for an industrial complex.
  • They are early examples of their type. The dwellings are of specific architectural interest for their two-storey flatted arrangement which allowed for increased number of workers to be accommodated at the site.
  • Although a part of the row have been lost (the corner house destroyed by fire sometime before 1966) what survives has been little altered. The remaining elements of Shore House remain readable as double flats and their original function as workers houses is also still clearly discernible
  • The buildings represent an important stage in the industrialisation of the Scotland. As a whole, the site contributes to our understanding of the industrial development of Scotland.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: late 20th century house at southwest corner.

Architectural interest

Design

Built as double flats, upper and lower, with the upper flat's front door on the opposite side to the lower flat's front door, Shore House is of specific architectural interest as an early example of flatted workers' accommodation. Although a part of the row have been lost (the corner house destroyed by fire sometime before 1966) what survives has been little altered. The remaining elements of Shore House remain readable as double flats and their original function as workers houses is also still clearly discernible.

The two sections of Shore House were once joined in an L-plan row with a large two storey house at the corner traditionally identified as the overseer's house (this was destroyed by fire sometime before 1966 and was rebuilt in the late 20th century. It is excluded from the listing). The row was subdivided into three upper and lower properties (the north/south aligned section) and four upper and lower properties (the east/west aligned row). The flats on the first floor were reached by forestairs, while the ground floor flats were accessed through front doors on the opposite elevation.

The north/south aligned row is particularly regular in the positioning of doors and windows, with a three-bay arrangement of centralised door with windows either side on the ground and first floor. This arrangement changes at the gable end of the row, where on the ground floor there was a bakehouse with projecting oven to the rear. This regularity reflects that this row was planned as flats. The east/west aligned row appears to have been altered at some time, perhaps from terraced houses, to form a similar flatted arrangement, perhaps reflecting a great need for accommodation.

Shore House illustrates a carefully conceived plan to accommodate more workers, economically within a relatively modest footprint. The row was altered and added to over a significant length of time to provide further accommodation; the final phase saw the accommodation planned from the outset as double flats. This shows the changing requirements of workers accommodation at the ironworking site. The planning of Shore House contrasts with the earlier housing at Bonawe, Lochandu Cottages, which were simple one room and an attic cottages. The development of the design of workers accommodation on the site is of particular interest.

Elements of the interiors of the six properties in the north/south aligned section survive including the remains of ceilings, partitions, fireplaces and fire surrounds, and internal doors. These features provide evidence of the original arrangements of the accommodation.

Setting

The row forms part of the wider complex at Bonawe Ironworks, and is located 100m north of the furnace itself (scheduled monument SM90037). The close proximity of the housing to the industrial complex is an important aspect of the setting of Shore House and contribute to our understanding of how the ironworks functioned. The row is visible from the processing area and retains its character as an integral component of the overall complex. Overall the settling of the complex is largely unaltered which adds to the special interest.

Historic interest

Age and Rarity

Bonawe is an exceptionally rare and intact survival of the early iron processing industry in Scotland, reflecting industrial expansion in Highland Scotland during the mid-18th century. The site was the last ironworks in Scotland to use charcoal-fuelled blast smelting, and is the best preserved. The only other surviving charcoal-blast furnace that approaches Bonawe's completeness is Duddon Bridge Ironworks, Cumbria, which operated between 1736 and 1871. The upstanding remains there comprise the blast furnace and its adjacent buildings, an iron-ore shed and two charcoal sheds. However, none of the associated housing survives.

This row of workers housing was part of the wider provision of residential accommodation for workers at Bonawe Ironworks. The earliest part of the L-shaped row (the section aligned east/west) was constructed sometime in the latter half of the 18th century, after the start of operations at the furnace (in 1753) and probably after the construction of the more modest range of cottages known as Lochandu Cottages, at the south end of the complex (LB52504). The row shows the domestic circumstances for workers and their families at Bonawe, many of whom came to Bonawe from Cumbria with the owners of the site. It is therefore an integral part of the overall significance of the site.

Workers accommodation is a feature of several industrial complexes from the mid-18th century onwards. Dating from the latter half of the 18th century, the housing at Bonawe is a particularly early example of worker's accommodation provided as part of a large industrial site. Apart from Lochandu Cottages (LB52505) which was also part of the complex at Bonawe, there are no known comparable dwellings associated with this early era of the iron industry in Scotland that survive to the same extent. Shore House is a rare survival in this context as although there has been loss of fabric, what survives has been little altered.

The assessment of records held by the National Record of the Historic Environment in Scotland for the iron industry indicate the remains of housing, for example at Glen Kinglass (Argyll & Bute), Furnace (Argyll & Bute), Wilsontown, (South Lanarkshire) Lugar, Waterside and Muirkirk (East Ayrshire). Examples from these sites tend to be of later date (late 18th century through to the early 20th century); of differing designs (such as tenemented, single storey and/or detached) and significantly remodelled or demolished. Domestic accommodation was provided at other, broadly contemporary, industrial sites in Argyll particularly relating to slate and lime production. However, these again are of limited comparable value because of significant differences in age, design and the degree of survival.

Social historical interest

Bonawe Furnace was among the first industrial enterprises established in the Scottish Highlands and as such it provides an insight into a lesser known aspect of the industrial revolution in Scotland. It was the most successful of the numerous ironworks established in the 18th century and is the most complete, including the survival of workers' housing such as Shore House. Even before Bonawe had been built in 1753, coke-fuelled furnaces were being developed and were to ultimately outcompete the likes of Bonawe. The site was the last ironworks in Scotland to use charcoal-fuelled blast smelting.

The ironmasters who established the Argyll furnaces (two other iron processing sites are known of at Glen Kinglass, 8km to the northeast and at Furnace, on Loch Fyne approximately 30km to the south) came from Cumbria. They did so primarily to exploit the extensive local woodland to produce the vast amounts of charcoal required to fuel the furnaces. This Cumbrian connection is evident within the construction details of ironworks itself. The original workforce that operated the furnace, including their families, also came from Cumbria, to live in what was a completely Gaelic environment. The production of charcoal in the nearby forests however, was carried out by the local population. Information about the lives and conditions of those working at the Furnace is very scare as there are few documentary sources. This makes the survival of the housing all the more significant.

Association with people or events of national importance

The Bonawe industrial site is associated with the commemoration of Admiral Lord Nelson. It was one of the first places where news of Nelson's death at Trafalgar, came ashore. A ship arriving at Bonawe (and thought to be collecting pig iron or possibly cannonballs from the furnace) is said to have brought the news having met with HMS Pickle in Falmouth, on her return from the battle with news of Nelson's death. On hearing the news, the workforce took a prehistoric standing stone from a field near Airds Bay and re-erected it with an inscription commemorating Nelson on a hillock near Muckairn Parish Church, in Taynuilt (scheduled monument SM4077). This believed to be the first memorial erected to Nelson.

Shore House was previously listed at category A as part of 'Lorne Furnace and ancillary buildings, Bonawe' (LB12180).

References

Bibliography

Canmore: http://canmore.org.uk/ CANMORE ID 23527

Maps

Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1870, published 1875) Argyllshire, LXXXVII (includes: Glenorchy and Inishail) - Ordnance Survey six inch first edition, Southampton: Ordnance Survey. Available at: http://maps.nls.uk/view/74427375 [Accessed 19 Feb 2019].

Printed Sources

Dunn, M, (1994), Housing in cotton factory and iron-works villages of the late 18th and 19th centuries in, Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group, Vernacular Building 18, 13-26.

Hay, G D, and Stell, G P, (1986), Monuments of Industry: an illustrated historical record. RCAHMS. Edinburgh. Pp108-114.

Historic Environment Scotland, (2017), Statement of Significance. Bonawe Iron Furnace = unpublished typescript report.

Hume, J, (1977), Industrial Archaeology of Scotland. The Highlands and Islands. Volume two, pp 46, 150

RCAHMS, (1980) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Argyll: an inventory of the monuments volume 2: Lorn. Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Edinburgh, pp281-91.

Walker, F A, (2000), The buildings of Scotland. Argyll and Bute. Penguin Books. London, pp484-7

Walker, F A, (2003), Argyll and the islands. An illustrated Architectural Guide. The Rutland Press, pp115-6.

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Images

Shore House, Bonawe, north elevation of east/west aligned row, looking south on an overcast day.
Shore House, Bonawe, west elevation of north/south aligned row, looking east on an overcast day.

Map

Map

Printed: 21/07/2024 06:05