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, 14 August 2014
Despite the Weather....
August is often thought of as the warmest and sunniest of the summer months but here in Kilchoan the last week has been rather wet. Over Sunday and Monday we had some 49mm, that's almost 2", of rain, and the skies have remained grey ever since. With several of the men away on holiday, things might have been slow at the castle, but I went down today to find the east gable end of the main building nearing completion. While Damien - in the picture - has been working steadily at it, H. is now back, so it should be finished very shortly.
This is an interior view of the gable end, showing the fireplace. In some ways, it's a pity the whole of the interior of this block is going to be panelled as the pointed stonework looks so good. As can be seen, the doorway from this attic level leads out onto the stone walkway round the roof.
This walkway is the subject of some minor concern. The castle - as all good castles should - has always housed bats, but they have been monitored throughout the work by Direct Ecology. The bats left the north range some time ago but it's possible that some may have taken up residence in gaps in the battlements, so someone from DE has been asked to come and check on their welfare.
One has to take one's hat off to the pointing team - from front to back, Adam, Lars, Rick and Chris - who have been soldiering on despite the rain and the midges. As far as the midges are concerned, they've been lucky as the site is fairly exposed, so they benefit from the slightest winds. When I asked the two Swedish students what had kept them going for some eight weeks now on what might have seemed a boring job, they replied that they loved working on this beautiful old building, but also they'd enjoyed the 'craic' - or, as the two Yorkshiremen termed it, the 'crack'.
With progress already speeding up, the team will be changing in to top gear. The slates and slaters should be here shortly to complete the roof on the north range, and the scaffolder, John, returns next week to erect a framework which will enable a cover to be stretched over the whole of the courtyard so that work can continue on the two other interior buildings whatever the weather.