Ancient Monuments

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A Scheduled Monument in Mid Argyll, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.1556 / 56°9'20"N

Longitude: -5.186 / 5°11'9"W

OS Eastings: 202226

OS Northings: 700456

OS Grid: NN022004

Mapcode National: GBR FDKF.Z60

Mapcode Global: WH1K0.9JQV

Entry Name: Lochfyne,gunpowder-works,Furnace

Scheduled Date: 7 December 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5813

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: gunpowder, explosives, munitions

Location: Glassary

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Mid Argyll

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises the major part of the remains of the gunpowder-works at Lochfyne, Furnace, which are situated on the W bank of the Leacann Water, 400m NW of the old iron-furnace. The powderworks were established by Robert Sheriff and son after 1841; they were abandoned following a disastrous explosion in 1883.

The mills were water-powered, steam being used in the drying-process. A dam was constructed and a lade fed a mill-pond in the N of the site. The principal buildings in 1866 were a T-plan range near the E boundary, of which only fragments survive. Other buildings included a glazing-house and two rubble-built magazines (one now demolished); a mound of rubble on the W probably represents the remains of the explosion of 1883.

The most impressive post-1866 building is the range of six incorporating-mills at the N end of the site which were operated from a power-source at the N end of the range; drive shafts ran below the mills in a brick-vaulted tunnel. There was also a three-walled mixing-mill, a new corning house on the NW of the open area, a cooperage and a sawmill. The office and watch-house are now altered and inhabited as dwellings; they have therefore been excluded from the scheduling.

The site was originally extensively wooded for safety purposes, and trees now threaten the stability of many of the buildings. The area to be scheduled measures 340m from N to S by 210m transversely, to include the powderworks and an area around in which associated remains may survive, as marked in red on the attached map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it exhibits the well-defined field characteristics of a relatively rare industrial monument which, in combination with the ironworks at Furnace, form an extensive industrial complex of upstanding buildings and other field remains. The powderworks have the potential to provide information about gunpowder technology, its successes and failures, as well as contemporary social history.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




RCAHMS (1992) Argyll 7, No. 244.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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