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.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Roof Goes On

Having been away from Kilchoan for a few days, I set off for the castle this morning with some excitement, as things have been moving forward very quickly recently - but I hadn't expected the progress I found: the roof structure on the north range, the main building within the courtyard, is almost complete, and will be finished by Thursday.

This pictures shows the side that buts against the north curtain wall, which will have nine windows and one access door from the attic rooms onto the battlements, while....

....this is the south-facing side, with its four dormer windows which will have wonderful views across the Sound of Mull.

The wood is douglas fir, and the men responsible for the joinery are....

....from right to left, traditional roof joiner Martin Chandler, his son Sam, and builders Ashley-Thompson's Nick Smith.

Martin's from Yorkshire, and has been working on the repair and rebuilding of old roofs for some 46 years, starting on the roof of Bradford cathedral after it was burnt down in a fire.  He's more used to projects like barn conversions: this is the first time he's worked on a castle, but he seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself.

Meanwhile, Damien Summerscales has completed the repairs to the interior of the sea-facing curtain walls, and laid the foundation of the walkway which will run round the battlements, and which will be topped with whinstone flags.  Residents will be able to walk from the attic room right round the battlements.

Inside the north range, the scaffolding has largely been dropped.  This shows the wall plates which are going in the support the joists for the first floor, with more timber being carefully manoeuvred in through one of the lancet windows.  From this level, scaffolding will be built up to enable the joists to go in on the remaining floors.

Despite the attentions of the local midge population, which particularly enjoy a damp, still morning, the site was buzzing with activity.

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