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.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Secret Passageways

The great curtain wall that forms the north side of Mingary Castle has a number of small lancet windows let into it - this picture was taken before the scaffolding was raised.  These windows are an original feature of the castle, and they are evidence of passageways and rooms which were built into the wall.

These passageways, or galleries, are shown in some plans of the castle, and I was fortunate to be able to gain access to the one shown at bottom right in this plan of the second floor of the castle, in the company of builder John-Paul Ashley of builders Ashley Thompson.

The passageway that runs along the length of the north wall is shown as open in the plan but is, in fact, blocked by the neatly built stone wall seen in the shadows in this photo.  It's not clear why, or when, the passages in the northern curtain wall were blocked.

To the right of the picture there's what looks like a stone seat, which can also be seen.... the bottom left in this picture, which looks out of a small window, now covered by a sheet of polycarbonate roofing.

In the plan, the passage that ran towards the courtyard is correctly shown as blocked.  This passage was destroyed when....

....a chimney was put in during the 18th century renovations.  The stonework of this structure is highly unstable and will be removed, enabling this passageway, along with all the others, to be reopened.  The renovation allows for open fires, but the chimneys for these will be built out into the rooms.

The prospect of opening these passageways is very exciting.  I'm very anxious to be there when it happens.

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