Vertical Technology and the Addyman archaeologists have really cracked on.
VT team leader Simon Scale's work on pinning the cliffs is almost finished. Of the 85 holes the engineers estimated needed doing, his team has completed over 80. There are one or two extras to do, where he feels the rock needs a little more support, but the job's largely done; and the good news is that the underpinning has been a huge success. From being a castle which might, at any moment, collapse into the sea, Mingary is now, once again, on a sound foundation.
Simon says that the work has gone very smoothly. He had thought that they might have to inject concrete into the fissures between the rocks but this hasn't been necessary, and the amount of movement of the huge blocks have been negligible. Only one 'tombstone' fell off, and they had to use cable strapping - a system which holds a rock in place while it's being drilled - in fewer than eight places. So most of the team will be away by the end of the week, taking their Kilchoan suntans, and their cheerful smiles, with them. We'll miss them.
quoining, a corner stone which forms part of the vertical frame of an entrance, possibly, in Mingary's case, the main entrance. The stepped effect at right is because this pillar of rock supported both an outer, wooden, door and an inner iron grill.
After a run of bright, sunny days, the weather has changed, with a sharp southerly wind blowing, the temperature struggling to top 10C, and a gentle rain beginning to fall - so it's no fun working, mainly, on your knees. But the sense of excitement amongst the archaeologists is undiminished.
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.