Wilsontown Ironworks

Wilsontown Road, Forth, United Kingdom
Posted on 22nd December 2015 / 1238 Listing verified as genuine
Site Type : Relic
Industry Type : Coal Mining, Iron and Steel, Mining - (Metalliferous) Iron, Copper, Tin etc, Manufacturing
Power Type : Steam, Water
Public or Private Site? : Public Access
Condition : Ruins and Remnants

Wilsontown Ironworks is the 1st ironworks in Lanarkshire and the place where Hot Blast* was invented!

Built in 1779 on a remote moorland in central Scotland by 3 entrepreneur brothers, they turned this quiet spot into a bustling industrial town.

*Hot blast is the preheating of the air blown into a blast furnace.

Hot blast was invented and patented by James Beaumont Neilson in 1828 for iron furnaces here at Wilsontown Ironworks!

Thousands of people lived and worked here, although you would find it hard to believe now. A lucky discovery at the blast furnace in 1828 led to the development of the hot blast process, changing iron manufacture forever and making some industrialists their fortune.

“In 2008 the Ironworks saw a significant change. An area of forest that was planted in the 1970’s was removed. The trees had been planted among an amazing cluster of bell-pits and shallow mines, and had hidden this landscape from view. 77 bell pits have been recorded here, making this one of the most wonderful places to come and view these industrial remains.” (scotland.forestry.gov.uk)

Try and trace the remains of the town and industrial buildings across this rural landscape set in a forest!

Go and visit the place where iron and steel manufacture began in Lanarkshire, walk the path networks, take in the interpretation and enjoy the atmosphere – because the peace and quiet has returned once more!

It was designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1968 and is beautifully managed by Forest Enterprise Scotland – find out more HERE!


Wilsontown Road, Forth, UK

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