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, 10 October 2013
The Mingary Cannon
I have been asked what happened to the cannon which lay in front of Mingary Castle until restoration work started on the site. It's safe and well, stored for the time being in the Mingary Steading.
I'm told that it used to lie on the beach below the castle but was later moved up to a more secure place in front of it. This was probably a wise move as, about a third of the way back from its muzzle, just above the right-hand log, someone....
....seems to have tried to cut through the barrel. The hole that's left provides a fine home for a hibernating snail. The muzzle end of the cannon is already missing, which suggests that, in its original form, it was rather longer.
The cannon may have come from the wreck which lies off Mingary Castle. The section about the wreck on "Scotland’s Designated Wreck Sites (Protection of Wrecks Act 1973)", on Historic Scotland's website, here, suggests that the wreck is 17th century, dating from the 1644 siege.
One interesting feature of the cannon is that it lacks the bulbous protrusion - called a knob - which seems to appear on the friendly end of most British cannons of the 17th century. The Wessex Archaeology report on the site, here, quotes research for the 'Wreck Detectives' programme which seems to indicate that the ship was Dutch. A Dutch cannon of much the same vintage is shown on a website, here, but frustratingly it's not possible to see whether or not it has a knob.