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Fasagh,ironworks,Loch Maree

A Scheduled Monument in Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.6346 / 57°38'4"N

Longitude: -5.3328 / 5°19'58"W

OS Eastings: 201138

OS Northings: 865402

OS Grid: NH011654

Mapcode National: GBR F86J.XR6

Mapcode Global: WH19S.1CVM

Entry Name: Fasagh,ironworks,Loch Maree

Scheduled Date: 4 February 1985

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4357

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: iron and steel

Location: Gairloch

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh

Traditional County: Ross-shire

Description

The monument comprises ironworks. Though far from clear, it would appear reasonable to suppose that the ironworks was built before Sir George Hay of Kinfauns, Earl of Kinnoul, passed this way around 1597. It is most probably not a blast furnace making cast iron, but a bloomery making wrought iron, complete with ancillary working areas including finery and chafery (ie. A forge). It may have been built in the last quarter of the 16th century and abandoned in the middle of the next.

The ironworks lies under grass cover. The bloomery mound would appear to be at the NW side of the forge, whose hammer-hearths are just discernible. Both bloomery and hearths may have been harnessed to the various items of plant. There are numerous slag-heaps around the ironworks, but no obvious signs of storage sheds. Fasagh ironworks could potentially be one of the most interesting and significant industrial sites in Scotland. As it appears today it is quite inscrutable and defies understanding.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The site is of national importance as it may well be the only substantial advanced bloomery left in Scotland, and its proximity to the first blast furnace in Scotland, at Poolewe at the other end of Loch Maree, makes it that much more important, for there may indeed be a close link between the two. It may be that here, at both Fasagh and Red Smiddy, Poolewe, we have the crucial change in technology from bloomery to blast furnace surviving substantially intact. The monument is of particular importance as a field monument and for the information in it relating to the peak of bloomery technique. It is of first-rate importance for studies of the iron industries in Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the site as NH 06 NW 1.

References:

Dixon J H 1886, Gairloch in north west Ross-shire: its records, traditions inhabitants and natural history with a guide to Gairloch and Loch Maree, Edinburgh, 325, 345.

Lewis J H 1985a, 'The charcoal-fired blast furnaces of Scotland: a review', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 114, 443-4.

Macadam W I 1893, 'Notes on the ancient iron industry of Scotland', Trans Inverness Sci Soc Fld Club, Vol. 3, 240-2, plan 241.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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