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, 4 July 2013

Work in the Courtyard

Sometimes, to make progress, archaeologists do have to be a bit brutal.  This is Addyman Archaeology's Lara Ferrarotti at the start of today, working in the southernmost corner of the castle courtyard close to the sea gate.  The mud, muck and grime of centuries had washed down into that corner, and it had to be cleared before the solid archaeology could be revealed.

And this is the result, a long and hard day's work later - a set of steps that we now know led down from a cobbled path that ran along the outside of the east range to the gate.  These probably haven't seen the light of day in a century or more.

While some work continues in the west range, the archaeologists have been concentrating on the courtyard.  Its northwest corner has provided a surprise: there are no cobbles, just rock - except that, in the right foreground, there's a hole filled with a greenish-grey sandy material, which has yet to be excavated.  Joe Meegan, one of the volunteers from the village, spent some hours this morning doing a fine job of clearing and cleaning the top of the rock outcrop.

All the stone that can be re-used is carefully removed from the castle and carried up to the dry store.  Here Phil Masters and Roger Picolo from Ashley Thompson builders have a job on their hands shifting a heavy sandstone lintel out of the courtyard.

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