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.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Progress Report

We've had a run of good weather which ended yesterday when the wind strengthened, shifted into the east, and brought colder temperatures and drizzle.  That it's been so warm - we had 25C on one day this week - has meant that, for the lads who are working their way steadily round the exterior of the curtain walls, the mortar has been going off much more quickly.

Richard showed me an example of some pointing he did yesterday - that's his finger at the left of the picture.  The paler area just above his finger is how the mortar looks before he gives it a good polish which, when he's finished, produces the very pretty mottled effect at upper right.  It amazes me that this, the 'back pointing' as they call it, has to be buffed up as it's then covered by further mortar - but it's important in that it ensures that the outer inch of mortar has a good hold.

Work is progressing on the biomass boiler in the moat, with two stonemasons on the blockwork this morning.  The far end in this picture is where the hopper for the wood chip will go, and access to the boiler room will be down stairs which will be to the left.  The boiler itself will be at the nearer end.  The far end is being built up so the roof will be at the level of the car park while this end, nearer the castle wall, the roof will be slightly lower, leaving the old wall to the right visible.

Where the blockwork butts against the rock wall of the moat, the rock has been stabilised with wire mesh held with plaster, while....

....the blockwork which faces the rock wall has been coated with bitumen outside of which is a layer of insulation.  The area between rock wall and blockwork is then filled with rubble.

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