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.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Weather Turns Nasty

October is often one of the best months in this part of Scotland, and the first half of this one didn't disappoint, with midday temperatures over 20C and days of sunny weather.  But all good things have to end, and the spell of fine weather ended spectacularly, with a force 10 gale on Tuesday followed by three inches of rain in the following days.

In these conditions, all exterior work has come to an end, yet much remains to be done on the outside to make the interior fully weather-tight.

With it continuing to rain on Thursday, when I visited the castle, work was largely concentrated in the interior of the north range. Yorkshireman and specialist joiner Martin Chandler, who did the roof timbers, is back, this time working on the landings in the stairwell.  He's seen here on the left with Ashley Thompson's Mark Thompson.

This picture shows a room on the second floor, one of several where the steel tracking is going in.  On the room side of this framework there'll be a damp proof course and a layer of plywood, to which will be fixed the Georgian-style wooden panelling.

The gap between the tracking and the stone wall will allow ventilation, essential while the wall remains at all damp, and the gap will also take all the services.

None of the angles in the original stone-walled rooms is a right-angle.  The corners have to be ninety degrees for the panelling so, as an example, the tracking here is only a few centimetres from the wall at the nearer end, and about fifteen at the further.

This neat little laser device is used to get the corners true.  While I was there are great deal of care was going in to this exercise as the company which is building the panelling will be here shortly to measure up and, to put it simply, there can't be any mistakes.

Across the courtyard and under the shelter of a temporary roof, Richard continues work on the walls of the west range, rebuilding the stonework of the gable end.  The men are working very hard, but there are plenty of smiles around the place.

A final walk around the battlements during a brief lull in the weather offered this view of a very grey sea and the north range's completed slate roof - and a very neat job it is.

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