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.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Smallest Rooms - 1

There are two small rooms at Mingary Castle  which were very important to its inhabitants.  They are the castle's garderobes, or toilets, and they give a fascinating insight into life in the castle back in its earliest times.

The first is accessed from the courtyard, and is is built in to the eastern curtain wall, so it's probably original, dating back to some time in the 13th century.  It's much the larger of the two.  Its size is a bit surprising, given that space within the walls is at such a premium.  As with everything, there must be good reason for this.

Looking from the outside, the position of the garderobe is low down, right at the base of the wall and just above the dolerite sill on which the castle was built.  So the sanitation arrangements were very simple: anything that went out of the hole fell to the bay beneath, which was scoured by the high tides twice a day.  They probably also threw a lot of their rubbish out of the hole.

This is the view looking down to the rocks below.  The hole is quite large, so squatting above it must have been a precarious occupation.  Perhaps later they built a wooden box over it so the residents could sit in comfort and security.

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