MHG6521 - Inverarish Ironstone Mine


The site, developed in 1913 by William Baird & Co Ltd as an ironstone mine, consists of two mines and a processing and transportation complex.

Type and Period (1)

  • IRONSTONE MINE (20th Century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NG53NE 8 5649 3652

See also NG53NE 9, 13, 14 and 16, and NG53SE 3 and 7.

Developed 1913 on by William Baird & Co Ltd. The main working was a drift mine running through a hill, linked to the pier at Suisnish by a railway. There are ruins of concrete surface buildings, (NG 53NE14) and the track of the railway (NG53NE 9) can still be seen. The incline to another drift can also be traced.
J R Hume 1977. <1>

This monument consists of the remains of an iron-ore mining and calcining enterprise established during the First World War. The remains consist of mine workings (surface and sub-surface), mine-head buildings, railways, kilns and associated harbour facilities. These elements are described below as they are approached from the shore.
The harbour works are represented by a T-shaped pier measuring 110m long by 10m wide. The industrial buildings at the pierhead are laid out as follows. A concrete built hopper measuring 30m by 10m and 18m deep lies to the NE of the pier. Above the hopper to the NE stands a line of five kiln bases (the kilns themselves having been removed) and to the NW are the remains of the power house, workshops and offices. A line of paired concrete gantry trestles runs up the hillside to the foundations of the crusher which are 18m long and 5m wide. A parallel line of railway bridge trestles run NE from the crusher. To the NW of the crusher lies the remains of the pier incline hauler house which are 10m long by 5m wide. To the NW of the pier incline hauler house lie two reservoirs, the smaller of these measures 20m by 10m, the larger 30m by 15m. This group of industrial buildings is connected to the mines by a railway line that runs NNE from the pier incline hauler house. 1.5km along this railway is a junction where the railway runs NNW to Mine 2 for 800m. On the southern side of this junction stands a hauler house for the line to Mine 2. This building measures 7m in length and is 4m wide. It is believed that Mine 2 saw little production due to geological faulting. The main railway line continues NNE for another 800m and crosses the remains of a viaduct on its way. 60m from the Mine 1 entrance are the remains of a main hauler house and a compressor house. In front of the main hauler house an inclined railway line runs ESE for 500m to an area of open cast workings.
Mine 1 was the main production site, and the scheduled area includes all the underground mine workings associated with this mine, consisting of a network of 8km of underground tunnels.
Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 4 February 1997.

Historic Scotland presented plans to amend the scheduled area. The monument comprises the remains of an ironstone mine and processing complex established by William Baird and Co. of Coatbridge, in operation during the First World War. The monument is located in the SW area of the Isle of Raasay on a series of S-facing slopes, from210m above sea level in the north down to 20m above sea level at the coast. The monument was first scheduled in 1997 and is being rescheduled to amend the scheduled area and update the associated documentation. <2>

The entire mining complex has been surveyed by the Association of Certificated Field Archaeologists. The survey report may be consulted at Highland Council Headquarters or may be purchased from ACFA. <3>

'Remains of ironstone mine works by William Baird and Co of Coatbridge, who owned Raasay and Rona from 1911-23 and produced thousands of tonnes of raw ore here during the Great War, using German POWs for labour. Several km of narrow gauge light railway transported ore from the hill to a new concrete-piled pier at Suisnish (R. McAlpine & Sons, 1913), which, along with a crusher and ore hopper, five kilns and a generator, represented the height of technology at the time. By 1920 the mine had ceased operation, leaving Raasay the assets of a solid pier, several miles of road and some good quality housing. The plant was not dismantled until 1943.' (Miers 2008)

Draper, Laurence and Pamela 1990. The Raasay Iron Mine. Where enemies became friends. (Dingwall)
Miers, Mary 2008. Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide <4>

Sources/Archives (9)



Grid reference Centred NG 5675 3684 (585m by 671m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG53NE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish PORTREE

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Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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