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, 31 July 2015
I love this view of the castle. It's a brute of a building, solid, uncompromising and simply beautiful - and the view is being enhanced by stonemason Damien, who is a stone wall building machine. He's just visible at bottom right....
....where he's completing the wall between the ornamental garden area, which includes the car park, and the moat. An idea of the scale of his wall-building....
....is provided in this picture, and he has some way to go as the tops of all the walls have to be brought level with the top of the car park wall. Just visible over the top of the high wall at the far end of the moat is the biomass boiler building, the roof of which will be covered with either gravel or grass so that it will disappear from view.
Damien works at such speed that it's difficult to keep him provided with materials - to the extant that Mark Rutherford Thompson, one of the partners in the building company, has to get his hands dirty collecting lumps of rock.
Billy is Damien's assistant. Readers with long memories will recall that the local midges love Billy - hence the strange head attire, which is a midge net ready in position should these fearsome beasts attack him. Billy is 59 today - happy birthday!
By comparison with the exterior, the facade of the 18th century north range - now covered in scaffolding preparatory to harling - seems delicate, almost effeminate. To the casual visitor, it might seem inappropriate, until...
....one steps inside and begins to appreciate to quality of materials and workmanship that have gone into this build. This is the ground-floor dining room, with the oak floor down but the last of the panelling still to arrive. It's a lovely room, warm and spacious.
At the heart of this build have been the workmen who have brought their many and varied skills - and have put up with all the privations of living in such a wild and remote location. 'H' has been here almost since the start but has landed himself a job back in his native Yorkshire, so is leaving this week. He's seen in this picture putting the finishing touches to the wet room off one of the second floor bedrooms. The walls are tiled with Carrara marble delivered so, if you look closely, the patterns in adjacent sheets match across the join.