Bonawe Historic Iron Furnace



Imagine the heat and noise of Bonawe, the most complete charcoal-fuelled ironworks in Britain. Founded in 1753, it ceased firing only in the 1870s. Today, displays show every stage of how pig iron was made – as well as cannonballs for use in the Napoleonic Wars.

Bonawe’s stunning setting, at the head of Loch Etive, seems at odds with its industrial past. But the nearby Glen Nant National Nature Reserve is just one example of the Argyll woodland that Bonawe relied upon.

What to see and do

  • Soak up the splendour of Bonawe’s location, nestling beside Loch Etive and within sight of dramatic Glencoe
  • Marvel at the two cathedral-like charcoal sheds, whose architectural details reveal their Cumbrian builders’ origins
  • Visit the nearby Glen Nant National Nature Reserve and walk through the oak woods that supplied the fuel for Bonawe
  • Complete our Explorer Quiz and ABC Quiz 

Opening times

1 Apr to 30 Sept:
Daily, 9.30am to 5pm (last entry 4pm)

1 Oct to 31 Mar:

There is currently no visitor access to the museum building.

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