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, 24 January 2014
Mingary from the West
I have lived in this village for some eighteen years, and wandered all over the Ardnamurchan peninsula taking pictures, many of them of Mingary Castle, yet I had never taken one from the west until last week - which is a great pity as this side offers wonderful views of the castle.
The land from which these pictures were taken lies between Mingary and Kilchoan village. It consists of a low ridge, the northern end of which is called Torr Solais, the hill of light. It's Ardnamurchan Estate land, rough grazing used for cattle and sheep, though the section closest to the castle has some very fine pedigree bulls in it.
The point jutting into the sea just beyond the castle is called Rubh' a' Mhile, 'mile point', the summit beyond is Ben Hiant, Beinn Shianta in Gaelic, the blessed mountain, while the headland to its right is Maclean's Nose.
The grassy area on this side of the castle, set in a glen with its small burn, is the site of the clachan which housed the people who once served the castle. They were cleared from their homes when the Estate was 'improved' in the early 18th century, at which time the field walls were built - probably out of stone taken from the houses.
This view of the castle shows how the scaffolding had to be built up from the beach in order to support the sections along the west and south walls. The base of the scaffolding has since been inundated in the recent storms which have hit the peninsula, but nothing has moved other than a half dozen scaffolding boards, which have been blown out of place. We're still wondering whether this is the current biggest scaffolding structure on any building in Scotland.