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, 5 June 2014

Progress in the North Range

We've enjoyed some fine weather recently but the wind is in the north today, bringing a fine drizzle and colder-than-normal temperatures.  What the weather's going to do next is of considerable importance as, within the next ten days, the builders need to take off the temporary roof on the north range.  It's done great service through the winter, but the end gables and interior structural walls which will carry the new roof need to rise above the temporary roof line.

Part of the end of the temporary roof at the east end has been removed already, and this view gives some idea of the working area inside.  Visible are the piles of rocks taken from the castle which have been cleaned and are steadily going back into the walls as the building progresses.

We're looking here at one of the lancet windows which lets light through the north curtain wall into  what was the mediaeval hall.  The oak lintels weren't easy to insert as the wall above was highly unstable - visible at the top of the picture is the neatly rebuilt stonework.

Builder Mark Rutherford Thompson is seen here in the chapel next to the only double lancet window in the north wall.  This area was also extremely difficult to deal with - followers of this blog will remember that Mingary's archaeologists believe that a cannonball struck and severely damaged the wall to the left of this window.

All the oak lintels in the north curtain wall have a layer of slates above them to protect them from water seeping down through the wall.  The slates slope gently towards the outside of the wall to lead the water away.

This morning Mark was working with the lads clearing out the floor area in the chapel.  The roof is still supported, and the next job, now that the walls are stable and can take the metal brackets, will be to get concrete lintels in to form the ceiling.

Meanwhile, work on the chimneys continues.  In this picture of one of the interior structural walls the vertical divisions between the chimneys can be seen - they're called mid-feathers - and, to the left, a fireplace.  This wall has almost reached the point where the stonemasons can't build it any higher until the temporary roof is off.

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