MHG7736 - Ironworking site, Garbhaig


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • FURNACE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) IRON WORKING SITE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NG87SE 3 894 713.
The Garavaig bloomeries were probably among earliest of ancient Gairloch ironworks. No date can be assigned to them but author suggests that they may even be Iron Age.
'The Garavaig furnace stood in a slight hollow in E corner of what is now eastermost field of Slatadale farm, close to where Garavaig burn runs into Loch Maree. They say water-power of burn was anciently increased by artificial means. When first examined, field where furnace stood was newly ploughed, and part of it was stained black with fragments of charcoal, indicating extensive burning. The farmer stated that he had buried immense quantities of slag in drains and soil of this recently reclaimed field. There are still numerous fragments of No. 1 slag' on surface, so that furnace belonged to the ancient class. (The author earlier describes 'No. 1 slag' as a dark black slag, compact and heavy, in some cases slightly porous; percentage of iron is high, in some cases more than half, and classifies as 'ancient' all ironworks that existed in the area before early 17th century). The farmer said that he had noticed indications of there having been a furnace in slight hollow already mentioned, and fragments of slag are thickest there. The agricultural operations have reduced place almost to a dead level. No kind of iron ore is found, but locality is just the place where one would have expected "plans" of bog iron might have occurred'.
J H Dixon 1886.

The water power of burn that supplied Slatadale ironworks was increased by a cut which 'far up the hillside abstracted some of the water from Loch-na-h-Oidhche (the loch of night), otherwise flowing down the other side of the water-shed.'
J H Dixon.

'Meall na Meine' (Name Book 1875) ('Hill of the ore or mine') at NG 881 697 may be connected with these ironworks.
Info from OS office recorder D Travis, 14 March 1961; Name Book 1875.

Area centred NG 8945 7135. No trace of any ironworkings were seen in area indicated, nor was location of furnace found.
Visited by OS (W D J) 30 September 1964.

NH011654 Between August and November 1996 a programme of assessment, survey and excavation was undertaken around Loch Maree, Wester Ross, and specifically on early 17th-century ironworks at Fasagh. The work focused on assessment of previously identified ironworking sites, topographic survey, geophysical survey, excavations, and test-pits in support of the geophysics.
August 1996 an assessment of Loch Maree area was undertaken as initial step in fieldwork programme. In case of previously identified bloomery sites no evidence of iron production was noted. The blast furnaces on the other hand remain as impressive monuments. No new bloomery localities were located on burns traversed. Additional info was recovered for sites of Fasagh, Letterewe and Red Smiddy, including at Letterewe the presence of haematite ore, and at Red Smiddy and Fasagh the location of settlement possibly related to them and also further structural components of these ironworks.
NG 894 713 Site of Gharbaig, canalised burn, narrow curvilinear channel 15 x 0.2m.
An interim report on this work will be lodged with NMRS.
Sponsors: Historic Scotland, Letterewe Estate.
J A Atkinson, M Donnelly, J Duncan, O Lelong and E Photos-Jones 1997

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NG 8940 7130 (14m by 14m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG87SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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