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, 17 July 2014
Attic Room Takes Shape
The weather doesn't look too special in this picture of Mingary taken on Tuesday morning looking across the Sound of Mull towards Tobermory, but it was, in fact, a beautiful, fine morning, in contrast to the previous day, when it rained and blew force 5 from the southeast, necessitating several of the workmen to be moved to inside jobs. The weather was as bad, perhaps worse, yesterday, with a proper westerly blowing and 19mm of what's locally termed 'Kilchoan sunshine' - but that's the nature of a Scottish summer.
Despite this, progress in the last week has been spectacular. Traditional roof joiners Martin and Sam Chandler have put a sturdy roof on the north range, and it's now covered with sarking boards. The four dormer windows on the southern aspect can now be seen, along....
....with the windows and door on the north side. The door is in the foreground, with the flagged walkway round the battlements just on the outside. These flags are unusual as they're made of local, billion-year old Moine schists - outcrops of this rock are plentiful just to the east along Loch Sunart, and it would be interesting to try to identify the quarry from which they came.
The new roof encloses the attic space. One can now walk around inside it and get a feel for these rooms, which will be one of the features of the castle, with their 25-mile views and access to the battlement walkway.
Stonemason Damien Summerscales was working on the western gable end. He works fast and without let-up, so supplying him with rocks and mortar is a full-time job.
The young man helping him, who has to carry the heavy buckets of mortar up two storeys and then reach them up to Damien, is labourer-apprentice Callum McParland who comes from Queensbury, Bradford, in Yorkshire. Callum left college last year having followed a course in public service provision, but....
.....he's filling in the summer by working up here while he awaits the medical and a short introductory course which should lead to him into the Royal Navy. Meanwhile, the lad is being worked extra hard - Damien is his uncle.