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, 21 August 2014
Still Battling the Weather
It may have been a lovely morning at the castle today, but it came after a night of torrential rain, with almost an inch falling in the last twenty-four hours. Not that the continuing wet weather has prevented some very rapid progress since last week. John Forsyth, the scaffolder, has been back since the weekend building two roofs within the courtyard area so that builders Mark Rutherford Thompson and John-Paul Ashley can press on right through the winter, whatever the weather throws at them. The scaffolding frame is covered with 'visqueen' polyethylene plastic sheeting which, although there will be a gap in the middle, completely covers the east and west ranges on which they'll be working.
The chimney and gable end at the east end of the main, north range is now finished - that's the last of the main exterior stonework on this building. The slates for the roof have arrived, and the windows for the Georgian fascade that faces into the courtyard will be here shortly, so we should see them going in next week.
Work has also started on the battlements on the north side of the curtain wall. Because the crenellations have largely been lost and the top of the walls currently look ragged, they're being built up, levelled off, and topped with flagstone. The blue tarpaulin is covering a section to keep it dry while the mortar goes off.
Immediately underneath, Damien - in the waterproof - and Nick have fitted steel wall brackets along the sides of the chapel and are now lifting concrete lintels into place, after which they fill above them with mortar. It's dark, cramped and wet work - wet because water from last night's rain is pouring in through the battlement walkway above them.
More lintels, oak this time, are going into one of the recesses in the east wall which has a lancet window at the end of it - but first the old oak has to be removed. 'H' is seen here measuring up for the first of the new pieces. It would be interesting to know how old this oak is as these lancet windows are original, some 700 years old, and it wouldn't surprise me to know that the oak is also original.