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 July 2015
A Hive of Activity
The week was ending on a sunny note when visited the castle, so I scrambled out onto one of the rocky promontories to the east of the site to take some pictures of the newly-revealed walls. As can be seen, not all the scaffolding is down, though....
....workmen were in the moat removing the last of it from the north curtain wall. At the same time, stonemason Damien was working on the north side of the moat, where there will be a car park and formal garden. He's building a stone wall along the top edge of the moat. It'll be shoulder height, and will run right across so it also separates the garden from the flat roof area of the biomass boiler.
The place is a hive of activity, with John-Paul (left), one of the partners in the main contractor Ashley-Thompson, moving between jobs and helping where he's needed. Here he's seen with Martin Chandler marking off lengths of oak panelling ready to be cut to size to cover the beams in the ground-floor dining room.
On the floor above, Martin Theaker (right) is working with Martin Chandler's son Sam in the sitting room. At the moment they're laying the oak flooring, the job of panelling the beams being complete.
The panelling is stunning, beautifully made and fitted, with every section of oak matching perfectly so no joins can be seen. It has been a long job but the quality should ensure that the finished work lasts for centuries.
'H' is still working in the attic bathroom, but in the last week he's finished laying the stone floor, fitted the marble surround to the bath, built the marble shelves, and tiled all the walls in marble. The marble is Italian Carrara marble. When I was there he was just finishing off, ready for the plumber to come in next week, after which 'H' will fit the marble panel in front of the bath.
On my way out I checked out one of the other bathrooms in the north range, the one in the chapel, where J-P has just finished fitting the Caithness stone skirting. Again, this now awaits the plumber's second fix.
Next week should see another big leap forward, with a variety of trades appearing on site.