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, 19 June 2014

Progress on the Stonework

Visiting the castle weekly gives one a vivid impression of how fast things are moving.  Last week, the emphasis was very much on the stonework of the north range, but much of the upper part of this is now completed.  The wall plates - the top of the walls onto which the roof will rest - can be seen in this picture completed ready for the roof timber to be bolted to it.  The nearer of the two interior structural walls is ready for the attic floor which will rest on it, while....

....the other interior wall will need some scaffolding to complete it.  One of the four fireplaces can be seen and, at top centre, the four chimneys which are built into the wall.

So work has moved elsewhere.  Looking across from the top of the north range to the west, south and southeast walls, the rubble has been cleared from their tops to expose the remains of the walkway that went round them, and it's not in good condition.  So....

....stonemason Damien Summerscales and John O'Neil are building up the stonework on the inside of the wall to just above the level of the old walkway.  This will then be infilled with rock and then have a lime base onto which new flags will be placed.

The weather has remained fine, so a great deal of effort is going in to the pointing of the exteriors of the curtain walls.  Because it's permanently shaded from the sun and therefore remains coolest, allowing the mortar to go off steadily, the north wall is the easiest for people learning the pointing 'trade'.  So John-Paul Ashley, foreground, has some of his workmen and three Swedish volunteers working on it.

The three - Sara Lindeberg, Lars Eriksson in red, and Adam Hultberg - are from the Gotland campus of Uppsala University.  Lars and Sara are studying building conservation, and Adam archaeology.   The two men have internships and will be here for ten weeks, while Sara is gaining practical experience for five weeks.

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