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.
Saturday, 21 December 2013
From Sleeping Accommodation to Bathroom
When work started on the north range, a small tree - it was very small, someone referred to it as a 'bonsai' - was growing out of the wall on the second floor of the stairwell. Recently, this was removed by the workmen to expose a small entrance which led into what looks like one of the passageways that runs within the north curtain wall.
This picture shows the entrance. The change in colour of the stonework is where the wooden floor of the second floor used to run, so it was quite a low entrance.
Peering into it, and up to the right, one can see that the space goes back about a metre, and that there are distinct horizontal marks along the back wall. It's also rapidly evident that, while it was originally part of a passageway, it was blocked off to right and left to form a small and very cramped room.
This picture looks down into the space to the stone floor. There's hardly room to swing a cat but the suggestion is that it was used as a sleeping area with bunk beds, perhaps for some of the servants.
The plans, as submitted to Historic Scotland and Highland Council, show that the passageway of which this forms a part is going to be opened up again, and this section is being converted into a bathroom. The red arrow shows the location of the entrance. I hasten to add that the bathroom will be bigger than appears in the photographs because the back of the existing space has been walled up to strengthen the outer wall - something which also blocked the lancet windows which, as can be seen from the plan, will be reinstated.
The Mingary Castle plans are available to see at the Highland Council website, here.