A unique story
As a Furnace website records, in 1841 a gun powder mill was built on the site using the abundance of water in the area to power the mills. Producing gun powder required mixing several ingredients such as charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre. This was done in the mixing house and then carried up the slope to the massive mill house for combining.
The mills had several owners. After many years of trading on 29 September 1883 a huge explosion happened, and the stove and boiler house were demolished. With dynamite already providing better and safer explosive material The Secretary of State ordered the closure of the mill. Some of the ruins of the Powdermills buildings remain today among the trees on the hillside area.
This part of the grounds is scheduled as a site of industrial architectural interest.
The property was left derelict for over a hundred years overgrown with ferns, shrubs and bushes. In 2000 plans were developed to build houses on the property. However Historic Scotland decreed that the remains of the gun powder mills should not be disturbed.
Planning was permitted for one house to be built on the property and the previous owners designed a house to enjoy the views of Loch Fyne and the surrounding mountains while embarking on a complete development of the grounds. This involved planting of over 300 trees, mainly oaks, the laying of lawns, rhododendrons and developing a bog for wild flowers. Paths were routed around the grounds to enjoy the old buildings and water courses.
In the future, there are plans to develop the maturing gardens with nature trails and additional planting of trees.