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“Surprisingly interesting!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bonawe Iron Furnace

Bonawe Iron Furnace
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Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
Ranked #3 of 7 things to do in Taynuilt
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Attraction details
Owner description: The most complete charcoal-fuelled ironworks in Britain, Bonawe was founded in 1753. Displays bring to life the industrial heritage of the area and illustrate how pig iron was made.Set in stunning surroundings at the head of Loch Etive. Loch Etive sweeps up to Glen Coe where golden eagles are regular visitors. Nearby, the Glen Nant National Nature Reserve, is an example of the woodland that once supplied Bonawe.The location – nestling beside Loch Etive, and within sight of dramatic Glencoe. The charcoal sheds – two cathedral-like buildings, whose architectural details belie their Cumbrian builders’ origins. The exhibition – charts the history of the iron furnace, and the chemistry of iron making. Cannonballs and iron pigs cast at the furnace are displayed, together with the Nelson plaque.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Surprisingly interesting!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 September 2013 via mobile

We saw the A85 roadsign for this and made a quick detour thinking it was going to be some Iron Age ditch in a field. Instead we discovered a rather extensive hidden gem!

Well laid out, well maintained and very helpful / enthusiastic staff. Definitely worth the stop if travelling through the area.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank CoveLoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Buxton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
142 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Beautiful historic site with an interesting story to tell”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

This museum tells the interesting and unusual story of the Bonawe iron works and its ancillary services such a charcoal burning. The company had its origins in the Furness area of what is now the Lake District, so building techniques were often Cumbrian rather than Scottish! The site is beautifully situated, maintained and interpreted, and comprises several well preserved buildings that allow the story to be revealed as you walk around. Highly recommended. Tip: trust your SatNav, it really is at the end of a long winding road that appears to be going nowhere!

Visited July 2013
Thank Gayterman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
161 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Fantastic piece of history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2013

The Bonawe Iron Furnace site is well preserved and laid out. Free to Historic Scotland members. Staff are really friendly and full of useful information. The buildings are all well preserved and there is a lot of information supplied on boards and in the guide book should you purchase one. An interesting and important piece of Scottish history. Car park is available and the site is reached through a convoluted series of single track roads.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank VeganABZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“This a wonderful site for industrial archaeology”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2013

Excellent place to visit and understand a little about the impact of industry in Scotland's countryside. Brilliant landscapes and well-maintained site of iron-works which utilised the trees from Glen Nant. Good information panels and very welcoming staff. Worth the effort on a visit to Argyll.

Visited July 2013
Thank Mary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A great survivor from Scotland's industrial past”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2013

A well-preserved little site, the most complete charcoal-fired ironworks in the country and now operated by Historic Scotland. Remarkably well preserved, and evocative. Well worth a short visit, although the exhibition areas are a little dated now. Very friendly, helpful staff on site during opening hours.
A walk along the mill lade to the River Awe is quite nice, but ends in a dead-end, so perhaps not for everyone.

Visited July 2013
Thank OldGlenbogle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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