In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Bonawe like this:
Bunawe, a village on the western verge of Glenorchy parish, Argyllshire, on the left bank of the river Awe, immediately above its entrance into Loch Etive, 1½ mile NE of Taynuilt station, and 14½ miles E by N of Oban. It has a ferry across Loch Etive; and is a starting-point for ascending Ben Cruachan and exploring Glen Etive. An extensive iron-work, the Lorn Furnace, near the village, was established in 1753 by a Lancashire company, who leased the adjoining woods for £430 a year till 1864, when the rent was raised to £2300. ...
The iron ore hæmatite was imported from Furness, here to be smelted with charcoal; but within the last few years the works have come to an almost entire stoppage, the furnace being out of blast in both 1878 and 1879. Extensive granite quarries are also in the neighbourhood, employing some 60 workmen, chiefly Welshmen and Aberdonians. They were the scene, in 1871, of a ` monster blast. ' A tunnel, 4 feet high, 2½ wide, and 50 long, with two terminal branches, 13 and 15 feet long, each rounded at the head into a large chamber, had been cut into an overhanging mountain during the previous two years; a charge of 4 tons of gunpowder was deposited in these two chambers; the entrance was closed with stones and Roman cement; a train was fired by a powerful galvanic battery; and, immediately, with smothered subterranean roar, the mountain side seemed to heave slightly upwards, and then subsided into the quarries to the extent of many thousand tons.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Bonawe has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Argyll and Bute. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Bonawe and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bonawe in Argyll and Bute | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 05th December 2013
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