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, 22 August 2013

Work on the Scaffold and 'Well'

The scaffolding is now advancing across the north wall of the castle.  It's across the wall at the eastern end of the moat (see left of above picture) and the workmen are currently fixing it across the steel walkway which leads from the car park to the castle entrance.  By tomorrow we'll be able to step off the walkway on to the boarding that runs round the castle wall - or, rather we'll be able to in theory, as we won't be allowed out until they have a handrail in position.

The boarding used on the lower levels of the scaffold structure was temporary, so it wasn't fixed in place.  This walkway will be here for a couple of years, and will have to stay in place in the fiercest of the winter gales, so it's being tied down - picture shows Roger Piccolo of Ashley Thompson at work on this job.  When I asked John Forsyth of JRandM Scaffolding, who is responsible for the scaffold work, whether there was any danger of the boards taking flight, his comment was that, if they did, they'd take the whole scaffold with them.

John added that work was going well on the scaffolding, and he hoped to have the job on the outer walls finished in about three weeks' time, though there was more to do after that on the inside of the castle.

Yesterday, Kenny Macfadyen of Addyman Archaeology finally excavated his way through to the point that would reveal the secret of the well.  Everyone was fairly sure that the well wasn't a well at all, more a cistern into which water from the moat seeped - but now we can see that this is the case.  The clay-filled wall helped to dam back a puddle of water, allowing it to pass through the hole that's now visible into the castle.

This close-up shows the end of the clay wall and the hole that led through to the cistern.  The hole isn't fully excavated yet - we would expect that, when it is, we'll be able to see into the bottom of the well.  None of the archaeologists was there this morning, so I wasn't able to ask about the dark grey deposit which can be seen to the left of the wall.  It may have been a fill to help prevent water seeping away.

No comments:

Post a Comment