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, 17 April 2015
The Plasterers Start Work
It was a lovely morning when I arrived at the castle but it hasn't been so good throughout this last week. Monday was a complete washout, with an inch of rain in the twenty-four hours, which put a stop to most outside work. Despite this, progress is impressive, and the finishing date for the project, July/August, looks attainable.
The biomass boiler has been working for some months but it's only now been possible to set about completing the roof covering and the stonework at its eastern end. The building - the picture is looking straight down on it from the top lift of the scaffolding along the north curtain wall - will effectively be buried in the east end of the moat, but the stone walls need building up.
Stonemason Damien and Richard are doing the work. Along the upper level they've built a superb drystone wall which will be a feature of the approach. It drops down to the lower level as it approaches the castle wall. While I was watching....
....they lifted the first of the capping stones into position; these, as can be seen, are being stabilised with a bit of concrete.
Inside the north range, Tigger (left), from R&B Electrical & Renewables is back. When I came in he was working with Chris in the kitchen to instal the datalink cabling. There's some urgency in this as the last section of plasterboard needs to be finished and the place plastered as soon as possible, because the kitchen fitters are arriving on Monday.
Which is why, when I went back in half-an-hour later, John-Paul was in there fitting some dowelling along the cornices preparatory to starting the plastering. This will give a curved edge, rather than a sharp one, along the cornices, something which was common in older plasterwork.
J-P may be the boss of his own, very successful building firm today, but he's a plasterer by trade, so it was very interesting to go upstairs with him to meet....
....the man to whom J-P was apprenticed when he was learning his trade. This is Neil Hobson whose firm, Neil Hobson Plastering, is based in Otley, North Yorkshire. You won't find the company on the internet - Neil's reputation is quite enough to keep him in work - but, if you're looking for a top-rate plasterer, he can be contacted on 01943 468 013.
Working with him now are his son, Jess (right) and Dave Nicholson, seen here fitting plasterboard in the stairwell of the north range. The three will be back and forth over the next few weeks as the various areas that need plastering become available. In the north range, there's the whole of the attic - which is where they were working today - the kitchen and the hall, and they have all the east and west ranges to do.