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, 6 August 2013

Scaffolding Work Progresses

I was down at the castle in mixed weather this morning, bright intervals alternating with sudden showers coming in across the Sound of Mull.  The main purpose of the visit was to check on progress with the scaffolding.

The two scaffolders, John Forsyth and Stephen Holmes, really have cracked on with the job, the lower section of scaffolding being almost complete along the base of the west wall.  John and Stephen are working with five of John-Paul Ashley's men....

....some of whom are helping to erect the structure itself - picture shows Howard drilling holes into rock for the bolts which fix the base of the scaffolding, while the others are....

....moving the mass of materials from the car park, over a high drystone wall, and down a steep and slippery slope to the beach.  So far the scaffolders haven't found themselves short of anything, but they are having to vary the design of the structure quite a lot as they find difficulties along the rock face.

One of the archeologists from Addyman Archaeology is back on site.  Kenny Macfadyen is filling in some gaps in the ground plans of the castle.  He's seen here wedged into the narrow passage that leads to the western garderobe: to the immediate right of where he's standing is a hole in the ground which leads down to the dungeon.

Kenny's waiting to start work on detailed elevational drawings of the walls which are being made from photos.  These pictures have been orthographically scaled and rectified, and digital drawings are currently being made, by hand, in India.  Once back, Kenny will be annotating them to create a detailed record: for example, one of the things he will be marking is the breaks in construction, which are best seen running across the north wall.

The next stage for the scaffolders would normally be to complete the structure round the north, moat side of the building - round to the right in this picture - but whether they will be able to do this depends on a decision that's waiting to be made on whether to excavate at the western end of the moat, next to the castle entrance.

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