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Lead Processing at Leadhills: Smelting the Ore

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Lead Processing at Leadhills: Smelting the Ore Probably 1780s


  • Scottish Art
David Allan painted a fascinating set of pictures when the Industrial Revolution was taking hold in Scotland. The setting is the famous lead mines at Leadhills in South Lanarkshire, owned by the 3rd Earl of Hopetoun, who commissioned these paintings. They show the four key stages in lead processing, of which this is the third. In the smelting house the ore was loaded into small blast furnaces with peat or turf or coal and a small portion of lime. The molten lead was then drawn off into a reservoir and ladled into moulds to form ingots.


  • Acc. No. NG 2836
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 38.30 x 58.00 cm (framed 45.00 x 65.00 cm)
  • Credit Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Galleries of Scotland, 2008