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.

Friday, 19 September 2014

The Craftsman

Damien Summerscales in one of several true craftsmen that builders Ashley Thompson have employed on the Mingary Castle restoration project.  He's a stonemason, a man who takes huge pride in the work he does.

In the picture he's cutting a piece to go in to the surround of one of the lancet windows.  Some of his tools may be modern, but....

....the stone he's carving is ancient.  It's York stone, quarried near Halifax.  Formed in the Carboniferous period some 360 million years ago, it was originally laid down as a sand in the delta of a river.  Being a very durable, fine-grained sandstone, it's ideal for detailed carvings and moulds.

Damien's skill is in carving each piece of stone so it fits exactly in to the place where the rotten stone has to be removed.  So, as can be seen, not all the stonework in the lancet's surround is being replaced.  Once the new block has been fitted and mortared in, Damien then has to infill the gaps round the edges.

The stonework he's removing may be over 700 years old.  It would be good to think that Damien's work will still be there in another 700 years time.

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