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, 20 November 2014

Radiators in the Chapel

Mingary Castle is silhouetted against the early morning sun in this shot looking across the Sound of Mull from the main road through Kilchoan village.  This was the start of what promises to be another glorious day, in a November which, since the end of its first week when it stopped raining, has given us what must be record warm temperatures and some beautifully sunny days.

This has enabled some aspects of the work at the castle to crack on at an impressive pace.  The long job of cleaning the old mortar out of the lowest parts of the curtain walls, where they stand on the granophyre platform, has finally been finished, and the even longer job....

....of pointing the base of the walls has just begun - picture shows Chris Taylor at work, sadly on the shadowed side of the castle otherwise he might have been working up a suntan.

Chris pointed out these holes, which I hadn't noticed before.  There are several around the castle, just above the base of the walls, and they angle up into the walls.  They look as if they run right through the walls, so they may have been drains which helped remove rainwater from the courtyard.

Mark Rutherford Thompson has been working on one of the fireplaces in the west range, where the joists are in ready for the floor.  Mark may be one of the partners in lead contracting company Ashley Thompson, but the partners aren't shy of getting their hands dirty.  Perhaps Mark needs something to distract him - there have been endless problems recently with building supplies, not the least being damage that has been done to deliveries during transport along the peninsula's winding single-track roads.

A new contractor on site is GJW Plumbing & Heating from Keighley in Yorkshire.  Picture shows owner Graham Whitaker installing one of twelve temporary radiators which will shortly be joining the underfloor heating in drying out the north range.  This one is on the first floor, but....

....radiators are being installed within the walls, this one in the intramural passage where it runs down from the chapel to the small turret on the east side of the castle.  The biofuel boiler is already making a tremendous difference to the building, and once these are hooked up and working the effect should be dramatic.

Two radiators are going in to the chapel.  Imagine what the MacIain laird and his lady would have thought back at the beginning of the fourteenth century if they had had the warmth of these radiators when they were at worship in this room.


  1. How long to they expect that the temporary system will be in place? By the way even with the rain, your weather is better than here in USA. Portions of which have had 6 feet of snow with 3 more on the way in just 1 WEEK.

  2. I'm not sure how long the temporary radiators will be in place, but I would guess for the early part of the winter, until the wall panelling starts to go in. Yes, I've read about your weather. At the same time as you suffer, we're having the warmest November in years. Jon