The Mingary Castle restoration blog was written by Jon Haylett, who lives in the local village of Kilchoan. Now that restoration is almost complete Holly and Chris Bull will take over to report on bringing the Castle back to life.
Tuesday, 4 June 2013
More Exciting Finds at Mingary Castle
The first finds are starting to come in from the painstaking work that's going on in the castle moat. This is a selection of the pottery and window glass they're unearthing, and its importance lies not just in the individual pieces but in the assemblage: it's all dated to the middle to late eighteenth century, and it's all from one layer within the moat.
Amongst the pieces they're finding are tin-glazed earthenware, salt-glazed Delft ware, Wealden basket patterned ware and cream ware.
The dig is now being supervised by Tom Addyman, the boss of Addyman Archaeology, who is an expert in pottery. Given time, he'll be able to date almost all of it accurately, but there are a couple of rather special pieces - not pictured - on which he'll be asking for a second opinion.
Tom says that the material is typical of a lairdly household, so the people living in the castle in the second half of the eighteenth century would have been reasonably well off.
And what is even more exciting is that they've hardly scraped the top off the almost 2 metres of debris that has accumulated in the moat.
Meanwhile, inside the castle, in the main room of the north range, builder Phil found this piece of bone moments after I left them yesterday. It's identified by archaeologist Dave Henderson, an expert in ancient bones, as a handle off a metal implement such as a pan or a poker. It's from a cow, and it's unfortunately common enough not to offer a date.
This man doesn't really belong inside the castle. It's team leader Simon from Vertical Technology who are pinning the rock face below the walls, and when I came across him it looked as if he was rodding the mediaeval toilet - through that hole near his right foot there's a thirty metre drop to the rocky foreshore below. His team was working on the cliff face immediately below.