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, 11 September 2014

Slating begins

Blue skies, warm temperatures and light winds aren't what one might expect on the west coast at this time of year, but autumn is often one of the best seasons for weather.  Certainly, this morning's visit to the castle was a pleasure, with the place humming with activity and everyone hard at work.

I headed straight for the attic level, where stonemason Damien is busy building up the parapet at the front of the building.  To the right can be seen the leadwork which is going on to the sides of the dormer windows, work which is being carried out.... local slating contractor Andy Gow, who has an enviable reputation locally for the quality of his workmanship.  He's seen here to the left of the chimney, with Sean Mathers in the foreground and Lewis Birrell to the right of the chimney.  Andy's company can be contacted on 01397 703 466.

Sean's job at present is to prepare the 17,000 slates which will go onto the roofs of the three ranges.  The slates, Burlington greys from the Lake District, come in a variety of sizes, from 20" down to 12", and each has to have two holes drilled into it for the fixings - which is what Sean is doing in the picture.  The slates go on with the largest at the bottom of the roof and the smallest at the top.  As with everything in this build, these slates have been hauled up to roof level by hand.

I missed this - the sealing of the tops of the dormer windows on the north side of the north range, work which was completed yesterday.  This was carried out by another top local company, GCF Joiners of Fort William,, who specialise in everything from Grade A and Grade B listed buildings to renovations and restorations, including those on listed buildings.  They've used the Dryseal GRP fibreglass roofing system which provides a seamless cover which will be totally waterproof.

While most of the work was going on in the bright sunshine, stonemason H was in the cobbled courtyard starting on the next building, the west range.  When it's finished, the current plan is for it to provide accommodation for the live-in cook/housekeeper.

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