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, 2 July 2015

A Moment to Take Stock

For the first time in two years the castle seemed deserted this morning, with several of the men pulled off the job to organise the movement of the static caravans they've been living in.  So it seemed an appropriate moment to walk round and look at what's been achieved, as well as getting a glimpse of what the place is going to be like when it's finished in six to eight weeks' time.

The paving in the courtyard has been completed in the last week after Caithness Stone Industries Ltd made good their promise to get replacement blocks here as quickly as possible.

When one climbs to the battlements and looks across to the 18th century facade of the north range, it's worth remembering....

....what it looked like almost exactly two years ago, before Ashley Thompson started work.  When this picture was taken, there was great concern that, had any of the window lintels collapsed, the whole facade would have come crashing down.

At that time, in climbing to the battlements one took one's life into one's hands, and there was no way I would have hung out from their crumbling edges to take a picture like this.  The view would have shown a mound of rubble, the product of the systematic stripping of the three buildings over many decades.

This picture shows what conditions were like along the battlement walkway in June 2013, and this.... much the same view today.  What a difference!

It's a small but nice point of detail, but this picture and the top picture both show the caps that crown the chimney pots on the north and west ranges, cut from Caithness stone.

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