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Address: | By the Village of Taynuilt Off the A85, Taynuilt PA35 1JQ, Scotland

The most complete charcoal-fuelled ironworks in Britain, Bonawe was founded...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 48 reviews
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  • 21
  • 16
    Very good
  • 6
  • 1
  • 1

Having chanced upon it we were not disappointed. A fascinating piece of Scottish Industrial past and in a way fairly unique in both used of Charcoal rather than coal and its... read more

Reviewed 24 September 2016
Southampton, United Kingdom
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48 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 45: English reviews
Northwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
443 reviews
252 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 252 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Full marks for restoring and looking after this place. It's the kind of attraction that's not very glamorous or sexy dealing as it does with the manufacture of pig iron but it illustrates a viral part of the history of the country and Industrial revolution. All the principal buildings are still in existence and there are plenty of signs illustrating... More 

Thank neddyb1
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
137 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2016

Having chanced upon it we were not disappointed. A fascinating piece of Scottish Industrial past and in a way fairly unique in both used of Charcoal rather than coal and its longevity before production stopped.

Thank Romantic_11
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 20 September 2016

A small attraction which was a great way to spend an hour. Interesting and informative. Brought to life by a chat with the guide in the ticket office who was had done her own research and was able to pass on lots of interesting details.

Thank Jean C
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2016

Just the thing to visit if your interest is industrial heritage. Well worth seeking out if it is. Nice tea room in village too. Not well advertised.

Thank mumma-green
Level Contributor
37 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2016 via mobile

This is a small historic Scotland attraction which is a good place to pass an hour on the way to oban. It is a history of iron making in the region and consists of a number of different buildings with information in each. I was there on a very wet day and the buildings gave shelter. The information panels give... More 

Thank Mr-Howie-2016
Huntly, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2016

There really isn't much to see here at all. Its a well kept site, beautifully mown grass, but that's about all that can be said about it. Just some old sheds. I really grudged paying to look around it. Husband is really into this sort of thing and he was very disappointed too.

1 Thank 206lucy
ByHistoricScotland, Marketing Co-ordinator at Bonawe Iron Furnace, responded to this review

Sorry to hear you did not enjoy your recent visit to Bonawe Historic Iron Furnace as much as you had hoped. Whilst our interpretation is in need of updating, there are panels that explain the site and its history. You can find further reading on our website and our staff are happy to answer and questions you may have or... More 

Level Contributor
109 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2016

Well kept with lots of history for the local area, and a nice walk around. Doesn't take long, but did give some well needed shelter n an awful day

Thank Buzznsmoo
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2016

Good description of all areas and interesting to find out about how the industry used to be. Needs a slightly larger car park

Thank Windysam10
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
459 reviews
220 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2016

Unfortunately it wasn't fully open when we visited, so we just had a quick walk around the site. It might be worth double checking if they are going to be open before visiting.

Thank Angu5
Level Contributor
77 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2016

Bonawe Iron Furnace was established in 1753 and is the best example of a charcoal fueled iron furnace in the UK. The original buildings are intact and it details how pig iron was made. Each building has a description of its purpose and the site is set in an idyllic part of the country. Afterwards head to the nearby Inverawe... More 

Thank LEA W

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Perth, United Kingdom
5 months ago

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