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, 14 May 2015

The Pace Increases

This may be the last picture of the castle looking like this.  One of several subcontractors due on site early next week is John the scaffolder and, if all goes to plan, he'll be taking down the remaining scaffolding so we'll be able to see the exterior of the castle in all its refurbished glory.

There's just so much going on at the moment.  The first of the panelling has been fitted by joiner Martin Theaker (right), under the watchful eye of Mark Rutherford Thompson.  This is the sitting room and, although some of the sections have yet to arrive, the room looks superb.  All the panelling has been designed by architect Francis Shaw, and is in natural oak. Martin and his assistant James McGinley had to constantly clean their hands with baby wipes as they fitted it to prevent any marks on the wood surface.

The plaster ceiling is completed between the wooden beams, which will be hidden under oak panelling covers.

The Caithness stone floor is down in the kitchen, and plastering complete in here as well.  In fact, everywhere one goes in the north range.... sees evidence of the plasterers' handiwork.  This picture looks up the temporary stairs, the well having been plastered and is now drying out.  In due course there'll be oak panelling to half height up the stairs.

Up in the attic the plaster has dried fully, so Billy is busy painting. With four coats to go on, he has a job to keep him happy for a few weeks.  These rooms are pleasantly light with the sun streaming in on a fine day.

Still chasing the plasterers, the intramural passage has had its bottom, 'scratch' coat applied to the walls and the ceiling done.

I finally caught up with the plasterers working in what was the chapel, now to be a pair of bathrooms, where they were applying the top coat.  It's been a bit of a tricky job working in here as, along much of the walls, the plaster has had to go on top of a waterproof layer that looks like bubblewrap.

While the plasterers will be away at the end of today, John-Paul Ashley will carry on with some plastering in the east range until they return to complete both east and west ranges in a few weeks' time.

James is seen here fitting the tracking in the east range, in the room which is to be a utility and service room for the breakfast room, while....

....Martin is in the west range fixing timber to square up ready to instal the wooden staircase that goes from the ground to the first floor.  Half way up there's a landing which leads out to the level of the west garderobe and the lift down to the dungeon/wine cellar.

Next week the pace hots up even more.  As well as the scaffolders and the arrival of the panelling for the study and dining room, the breakfast room windows will be fitted, the plumbers are back, and the balustrade all round the inside of the battlement walkway will be fitted.

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