Tour Scotland Video Lorn Furnace Bonawe

Tour Scotland video of the Bonawe Iron Furnace, also called the Lorn Furnace, on ancestry visit to Bonawe, Argyll, Scotland. It operated in the middle of the eighteenth century, with the aim of producing pig iron. Central to this complex was a charcoal fired blast furnace. The industrial complex was built in 1753 by Richard Ford's small business, the Newland Company. The site was chosen because there was enough wood in the area for the production of charcoal, as well as the fact that there was enough water pressure in the river to drive a water wheel. As the company itself was established in Cumbria, the blast furnace was managed by a local representative of the firm. During construction, most of the building materials were brought in from Cumbria. For the furnace to produce pig iron, it first had to be brought up to temperature, which took about one week. The oven was used almost continuously for nine months at a time. As of 1750, the use of coke as fuel was becoming common. The first blast furnace in Scotland which made use of coke was built in 1759 near Falkirk. This new development in the production of iron in the complex made Bonawe less profitable. In the nineteenth century, production fell sharply and the complex was closed in 1876.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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