Meanwhile, discussions continue between the Trust's architect, Francis Shaw of Shaw and Jagger, and Historic Scotland. Francis was kind enough to give me some of his valuable time on Tuesday to describe the complexity of some of the decisions that have to be made before work can progress. For a start, agreement had to be reached on the date that the restoration will reflect, and this will be the last time the castle was in use, some time in the 1770/80s. The last known refurbishment of the north range (shown in the photo below, before work began) took place some around 1700, and there is no indication that any major works were carried out between then and 1770/80, so the designs need to reflect the styles of the years around 1700.
Once this was established, the form of a huge range of features has to be agreed - and a good example of the problems faced is the windows in the north range.
Had the work been done a little later, the then owner, Sir Archibald Murray of Stanhope, would probably have used sash windows with thick glazing bars, both upper and lower window being divided into perhaps 16 panes.
If these are the considerations when making decisions about the windows, there must be hundreds more about other design features in this building - and the other two buildings, which are not of the same age and had very different uses. The example of the windows gives an insight into the difficulties faced when restoring an historic building like Mingary Castle.
Many thanks to Francis Shaw for his help.