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.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Winter's Coming

We're now moving rapidly into winter.  The winters here are dominated by the prevailing southwesterlies which draw in mild, wet air from the North Atlantic.  October and November are characterised by squally showers, sometimes of hail, and bright sunny intervals, but recently it's been more of the showers than the sun, with a rainfall total for the last week in October of just under 70mm.

The first thing one notices when arriving at the castle after a break of a few days is that the working area in front of the building is neat and drained, not the soggy quagmire it could so easily have become.  This is largely due to the loads of rock which were spread across it, which allow the rainwater to percolate through.

The wind was a blustery force 5 when I climbed the scaffolding, but the walkways, although wet, aren't slippery, and the railings give one a sense of security.  Most of the scaffolding in the courtyard is complete, though the scaffolders are due to return in a week to complete the job.

While I was on the highest scaffolding the wind suddenly picked up, gusting towards gale force.  As a wall of sleet hit the structure the whole scaffolding framework reverberated and the boards underfoot hummed.  A retreat to the down-wind side of the castle brought some protection, but working in those conditions would have been impossible.

Last winter Ricky Clark, who lives in one of the nearby Mingary Cottages, recorded a gust of over a hundred miles an hour.  It'll be interesting to see how the structure survives in those conditions.

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