An iron ‘pig’ or ingot made at Invergarry Furnace. The furnace began production in 1729, and was the first Scottish ironworks of historic importance. Its operation was short lived - it closed in 1736.
One side of the ingot is near flat, the other is curved. Its ends are rounded and fairly smooth, telling us that this ingot is just as it was cast. In other words, it is complete. The number “1732” can be seen clearly as digits cast above the convex surface.
The ingot is now on display at Bonawe Historic Iron Furnace in Argyll. The Bonawe ironworks was founded in 1753 by Richard Ford and Company of Cumbria. Its site was chosen for the vast local woodland, needed to make charcoal, and the water supply, used to power the bellows used in iron production. At its peak, the furnace produced 700 tons of pig iron each year. The ironworks ceased firing only in 1876.